ERZURUM, Turkey – China won the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship Division III, Group A and returns to Division II after just one year.
The Chinese felt little resistance in their first games, waltzing over Bulgaria, 12-3, Mongolia, 27-0, and Chinese Taipei, 9-4, before meeting Turkey in the last game.
Turkey also went into the last game undefeated after victories against Chinese Taipei, 5-3, Bulgaria, 5-4 in overtime, and Mongolia, 19-1.
The last game was a challenge for the Chinese despite outshooting Turkey 65-29.
Despite the statistics, it was the Turks who opened the scoring in front of 1,800 fans at GSIM Ice Arena in Erzurum. Serkan Gumus at 20:47 and Sinan Yildirim at 25:58 hit the back of the net before Xiaoyu Qu cut the lead by one at 33:57.
Turkey’s miracle became more realistic when Gumus scored his second goal for a two-goal lead at 42:21, but the Chinese turned the game in the following three minutes with two goals from Jiachang Bao (42:48, 45:26) and the 4-3 goal from Canji Zheng at 45:45.
Turkey draw hopes again when Gokalp Solak scored a shorthander at 51:31 to tie it up, but China replied with Qu’s game-winning goal at 54:50. Despite a two-man advantage in the last minute, Turkey didn’t manage to score another goal and the gold medals as well as the Division II berth for next year went to China.
Gumus, who scored two goals in the last game same as Qu, won both the scoring and goal scoring title with 23 (15+8) points before Qu with 22 points (14+8).
While China’s team won the tournament, two of the three individual player awards selected by the directorate stayed in Turkey. Fikri Atali, who had a tournament-best 91.11 save percentage, was named Best Goalkeeper, Gumus won the Best Forward award. Chinese Taipei’s Yun-Pu Lee was selected Best Defenceman.
Chinese Taipei finished in third place after defeating Mongolia, 18-1, and Bulgaria, 5-3. Bulgaria claimed fourth place with its only victory against Mongolia, 14-0.Click here for scores and statistics.
Group B of the World U18 Championship Division III began on Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico, with Mexico, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and Israel. (Statistics
The World U18 Championship Division II Group A resumes on Tuesday with the third game day. Italy has been the only undefeated team so far. (Statistics