International Ice Hockey Federation

Slovenia back on track

Slovenia back on track

Gracnar earns second shutout against Hungary

Published 23.04.2014 15:22 GMT+9 | Author Martin Merk
Slovenia back on track
The Slovenes celebrate after a goal in the 2-0 win over Hungary. Photo: Soohan Kim
Slovenia had a slow start into the tournament against Japan but earned the second win in a row, 2-0 against Hungary, at the World Championship Division I Gr. A.

20-year-old goalkeeper Luka Gracnar, who was in the net against Korea and today against Hungary, already earned his second shutout in his second game.

“We played tactically very well with just smaller slumps and we were disciplined. We took just a few penalties,” said Gracnar, who had 31 saves against Hungary. Despite his success at a young age, he doesn’t get bigheaded though.

“I don’t like to talk about who is number one or number two. It’s a short tournament and you need two or three quality goalies. Everybody has to be ready. But of course I try to enjoy every day. I’m happy and it’s a pleasure to play.”

Slovenia indeed had the better start, especially in the second period. At 1:47 Tomaz Razingar broke the deadlock when he deflected a distance shot from Ziga Pavlin shortly after his team’s third power play.

A few seconds after the face-off at centre ice Blaz Gregorc took a penalty for high-sticking giving Hungary the chance to tie but they didn’t capitalize like during the remainder of the game.

Once the penalty was over it was again Slovenia’s turn. After a big hit of Mitja Robar against Hungary’s Istvan Sofron in the Hungarian zone the Slovenes were quick on a counter-attack. Gregorc passed to Anze Kuralt, who doubled the gap with the 2-0 goal at 5:21 of the middle frame.

Six minutes later the Slovenes were a few centimetres away from their third goal. After a blocked Matic Podlipnik shot, Marcel Rodman lobbed the puck over the goalie but it stopped before the goal line and Hungarian goalkeeper Zoltan Hetenyi got the situation under control in time.

Continue reading

Hungary was strongest in the third period when it created nearly half of its scoring chances of the entire game and outshot Slovenia 15-8. But Gracnar stood tall in the Slovenian net.

Daniel Koger had one of the biggest chances in the third period after seven minutes during the power play when he suddenly got the puck in front of the net after a drop pass from Tamas Posgai but seemed too surprised to lift the puck.

With 71 seconds left in regulation time and the goalie already pulled, Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz took his time-out for a last attempt but the Slovenes defended their 2-0 lead well.

“We had lots of chances. We dictated the tempo and pace in the third period but they capitalized on their chances and that was the difference,” Chernomaz said.

“We are back on track. For two periods we were pretty solid in both ends but after two periods we stepped down. We started to play complicated and that gave them chances,” said Tomaz Razingar, who was selected Slovenia’s best player of the game.

While Hungary’s chances for promotion became slimmer, the Slovenes have recovered from the historic opening-day loss against Japan and have it in their own hands in the last two games against Ukraine and Austria.


Back to Overview