Italy promoted

Azures win World U18 Championship Div. II

20.03.2010
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The Italian U18 national team will be back at Division I next year after winning all games in Narva. Photo: Irina Kivimäe

NARVA, Estonia – Italy won the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship Division II Group A in Narva, Estonia, and will play at Division I level next year.

The Italians, who were relegated to Division II one year ago, were in a class of their own in Narva. They outplayed each of their opponents; Romania (11-0), Croatia (6-0), Serbia (9-2), Iceland (16-0) and Estonia (13-1).

The race for the other places was tighter. Despite losing to Croatia in shootout, Romania finished in second place with ten points in five games. Croatia won the bronze with nine points. The Croats won four games, but the victories against Romania, Estonia and Serbia were earned in shootouts.

Iceland has to go back to Division III. The Icelanders proudly celebrated a surprising 4-2 victory against Serbia on Day 2, but they didn’t win any more points while Serbia (4th) and Estonia (5th) collected four points each.

Six of the seven best scorers came from Italy in this tournament, but the forward with most goals and scoring points was Romania’s Roberto Gliga. Gliga had ten goals and five assists as Romania scored 22 goals and he was selected best forward by the tournament directorate. Croatia’s Filip Curkovic was named best goalkeeper and Italy’s Gabriel Lang best defenceman.

More information about the tournament: Scores & Stats, Photo Gallery.

Group B of the World U18 Championship Division II begins on Monday in Kyiv, Ukraine. The other participating teams are Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Australia.

Another U18 tournament comes to an end with the Division III Group B in Monterrey. The host team Mexico and New Zealand go undefeated into their final clash for gold and a Division II berth in 2011.


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