International Ice Hockey Federation

Austria avoids shocker

Austria avoids shocker

Korea challenges favourite but loses 7-4

Published 24.04.2014 10:14 GMT+9 | Author Martin Merk
Austria avoids shocker
Austria's Daniel Oberkofler with a scoring chance in front of the Korean net. Photo: Kim Soohan
It was a shocker of a score when Korea led 3-0 against odds-on favourite Austria after nine minutes but the “eagles” turned the score quickly and won 7-4.

Brian Lebler scored a hat trick for Austria but wasn’t too happy about his team’s performance.

“It was a pretty ugly game with many chances on both sides. They played a hell of a game. We capitalized on our chances and they did too,” Lebler said.

Austria had a bad start with two penalties. Woosang Park opened the scoring for Korea at 3:45 on a rebound after Kisung Kim has hit the post during the two-man advantage. But the Koreans also had dangerous rushes with five-on-five.

At 7:42 the Korean goal song was played again. Minho Cho received a diagonal pass to the crease from Michael Swift and beat Bernhard Starkbaum. Austria coach Emanuel Viveiros already had to take his time-out but to no avail. 31 seconds later the Korean (and Austrian) fans at the arena couldn’t believe their eyes when Kisung Kim’s shot from the right face-off dot went in to give Korea a 3-0 lead. It was a strong wake-up call for the Austrians and they found the right answer.

At 9:49 Michael Schiechl received a pass just behind the blueline and skated toward Hoseung Son’s goal before shooting the puck into the net via the right goal post.

At 11:12 Thomas Hundertpfund scored as well after a diagonal pass to left of the net from Thomas Koch and 56 seconds later Lebler tied the game after a horizontal pass to the crease again from Koch.

At 14:50 Lebler scored again when deflecting a Mario Altmann shot from the blueline. With his fourth marker at this tournament he brought Austria the lead for the first time in this game. But 15 seconds later it looked brighter for the Koreans when Kisung Kim got his second marker of the game as well. After Brock Radunske had outplayed Markus Schlacher on the left, Kisung Kim scored from the right side.

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The goal galore in the first period ended with a 5-4 lead for Austria. At 16:52 Hunderpfund increased his goal account to two as well. He came from behind the net and tried to push the puck between the goal post and Hoseung Son’s pads. With success since the Korean netminder didn’t notice it and moved his leg in the worst moment.

Korean coach Sun Wook Byun changed goalkeepers for the second period with Sungje Park coming in and although both teams created chances they didn’t get to score that easily anymore. Hyung Joon Kim had the biggest chance after 12 minutes when he got the puck at the blueline unnoticed by the Austrian defence but he stumbled on the breakaway and missed out on the opportunity.

The Koreans, who had to play without Bryan Young after an injury in the last game, continued to skate hard for the game-tying goal. Swift had a huge chance during a power play but missed the puck in front of an open net after a horizontal pass while Daniel Oberkofler missed to score a shorthander on a breakaway.

Offensive action went down a bit but at 13:31 of the final frame Konstantin Komarek deked Wooyoung Kim and scored on goalkeeper Park to make it 6-4. And with 2:30 left on the match clock, Lebler completed his hat trick and destroyed Korea’s hope for catching up in the dying minutes of the game.

“Korea played very well today. We were not ready to play today,” Austria coach Viveiros said. “Sometimes in a tournament we have a game you don’t play the best and we were fortunate that we won this hockey game.”

Korea coach Sun Wook Byun tried to take the positives out of this match. “It was a good game. Everybody got better and gained confidence. We had the lead but they had a strong team and came back. We’re getting better and better each game,” he said ahead of tomorrow’s neighbouring clash against Japan.


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