DPR Korea-Japan (April 13)

DPR Korea 2 – Japan 5

The first game of the third tournament day was the one to define the opponent for China I in last day’s final game while the defeated team would play the development team of the host country for the bronze medals.

The teams started the game competing equally for every puck, not giving too much time and space for the opponent. At 2:24, DPR Korea took the early lead in the game when O Chol Ok got a bounce from the defender’s skate that helped her to get the puck past the goal line. Despite some power-play opportunities and good chances for Japan’s Haruna Yoneyama and Saki Shimozawa with only 15 seconds remaining, there were no more goals before the first intermission.

Early into the second period Japan got a power-play opportunity and was able to move the pressure towards the North Korean goal. At 23:37, only eight seconds after getting back to full strength, Hong Kum Sil had to get the puck from behind her back for the first time in the game after it was delivered there by Japan’s Yuka Hirano. Three minutes later, Japan made use of its fourth power play with a goal from Moeko Fujimoto to take the lead in the game and only a minute later made it 1-3 with a top corner backhander by Saki Shimozawa. The deflection from the defender’s stick helped Jin Ok to bring DPR Korea back to the game with 2-3 at the scoreboard after second period.
 
In third period teams competed hard for every loose puck. Scoring chances at even strength were not in favour of either team as the best opportunities were created in special situations. With ten minutes remaining in the period, DPR Korea started generating more offence, but was denied from the best scoring areas by Japan’s disciplined defence. Two minutes before the end, Japan put an end on DPR Korea’s effort to tie the the game by scoring two quick goals, first on power play at 58:06 by Naho Terashima and only ten seconds later by Haruna Yoneyama to finish the game 2-5 giving Japan a second chance against undefeated China I in the gold medal game of the tournament.

Photos: Qu Dexin

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