SZEKESFEHERVAR, Hungary – Belarus has won promotion to Division IA with their round-robin victory at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division I Group B, winning the title on the final day of the tournament thanks to a 6-5 victory over second-place Kazakhstan.
Key wins over Kazakhstan and Austria gave the Belarusians enough points to claim the top position in the tournament. Forward Alexander Karakulko had eleven points (5 goals, 6 assists) to lead the championship on scoring, and teammate Yevgeni Lisovets was chosen by the directorate as the top defenceman of the tournament.
The Kazakhs had a chance to win the tournament on the final day, playing Belarus with only one point separating the two teams. Belarus opened the game with a pair of goals but then watched Kazakhstan respond with four of their own to take a 4-3 lead into the first intermission.
But in the second period Belarus shut down the Kazakh offence, and Lisovets, Maxim Valkov, and Vladislav Zhuravlyov scored to give back the lead to Belarus going into the final period.
Kazakhstan had a missed opportunity in the second period with a miss on a penalty shot from Kirill Savitski, and the Kazakhs managed only one goal late in the third period with the goalkeeper pulled, giving the 2012 championship to Belarus. With two goals, Valkov was chosen as Belarus’ player of the game.
Despite playing on home ice in Szekesfehervar, Hungary could not claim a victory in the tournament and was relegated to Division II Group A for 2013.
1. Belarus 15
2. Kazakshtan 11
3. Austria 8
4. Ukraine 6
5. Poland 3
6. Hungary 2
Individual Awards selected by the Tournament Directorate:
Best Goalkeeper: Oliver Agoston, Hungary
Best Defenceman: Yevgeni Lisovets, Belarus
Best Forward: Johannes Bischofberger, Austria
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