MARIBOR, Slovenia – After forfeiting all games last year due to financial problems, the women’s team from DPR Korea returned to the international stage and earned promotion back to Division I with a clean record.
DPR Korea started well in the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group A defeating host Slovenia 3-1.
In a tight clash on the second day against Hungary, DPR Korea was trailing 3-1 after the first period, but won the other two periods to turn the game. Hyon Mi Ryu scored the 4-3 and 4-4 goals for DPR Korea and defender Kum Bok Kim netted the game winner with 4:18 left in regulation time.
The 5-4 victory against Hungary eventually decided for gold in DPR Korea’s favour.
And it also stopped the Hungarian women’s program from yet another triumph this season. The Hungarians surprised with their young female players, earning promotion to the top division of the U18 Women’s World Championship for next season. And Fanni Gasparics also won silver at the Youth Olympic Winter Games’ ice hockey skills challenge.
Gasparics was one of 14 U18 players on this women’s senior team, Alexandra Huszak, who scored eight goals in five games, another. But the firepower of the young Hungarians wasn’t enough to get past the top-seeded team from DPR Korea.
After winning their most important game of the event against Hungary, DPR Korea didn’t face any problems in the other games and defeated Croatia (11-1), New Zealand (7-1) and Australia (7-0) en route to gold.
Sol Gyong Ri added a hat trick in the last game to claim the scoring title of the tournament with 14 points (7+7).
Hungary had to settle for silver while the Australians won the bronze medals before New Zealand.
Slovenia and Croatia were winless in four games. The neighbours face each other in a battle against relegation tonight.
More: Scores & Stats, Photo Gallery