Austria completed its mission in Division I Group A and was promoted to the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia after a 2-1 victory over Ukraine.
Austria - Ukraine 2-1 (1-0, 0-0, 1-1)
After one year, Austria is back among the elite. But in doing so, they had to survive a five-minute penalty kill against Ukraine late in regulation. Ultimately, the Austrians posted a 2-1 victory, punching their ticket to Slovakia in 2011.
"The game could have been won by either team," Austria coach Bill Gilligan said. "Thank God we survived that five-minute penalty kill at the end."
Austria set the tone early. The team's first power play resulted in a goal after 1:56. Roland Kaspitz crossed the puck from the left side to Thomas Raffl, who shot it home from close range.
The lead gave the Austrian wings, vocally supported by a large fan base. They had an excellent opportunity to double the lead on a two-man advantage for 52 seconds, but Ukraine withstood the storm.
Ukraine came out stronger in the second period, dominating most of the time and forcing Austria to play on the counter-attack. The slick skating of the Ukrainians had Austria wobbling late in the period.
First Kostiantyn Kasianchuk hit the underside of the bar with 25 seconds left to play and they escaped with just one second on the clock. Sergi Klymentiev released a low slapshot that was initially stopped by Divis. In a melee the puck then crossed the goalline and the red light flashed. The referee disallowed the goal though and whistled a slashing call against Kasianchuk.
With just 20 minutes left to earn promotion Ukraine needed something special to beat Divis, who the difference for Austria according to Gilligan.
Ukraine got what it needed with 9:54 left in regulation. While Raffl was sitting in the penalty box for interference, Andri Srybko released a rocket one-timer from the blueline that flew in the top right corner behind Divis.
But the hard work was in vain. Kostiantyn Simchuk stopped Oliver Setzinger's breakawy attempt, but did not stand a chance on Matthias Tratting's one-timer at 51:55. Again Roland Kaspitz got the assist.
Austria withstood a frantic final few minutes as David Schuller was given a match penalty for putting Sergi Klymentiev into the boards.
Ukraine coach Mikahil Zakharov said, "the better team won today. We were not strong enough physically to beat them." Zakaharov's future with Ukraine remains unclear since he was only slated to continue if the team was promoted.
The best defenceman of the tournament, Matthias Trattnig, praised the support of the fans but admitted the final minutes were nerve racking. "We tried was to block every shot with any part of our body and get the puck out of our zone. We succeeded and you can definitely call this Mission Accomplished".
Best Goaltender: Yutaka Fukufuji (Japan)
Best Defenceman: Matthias Trattnig (Austria)
Best Forward: Kostiantyn Kasianchuk (Ukraine)