SOFIA – Bulgaria has won the 2011-2012 IIHF European InLine Hockey Qualification Tournament. The host nation defeated Turkey 9-4 in the deciding game.
Batchvarov was the hero before 695 fans at the Winter Sports Palace. He scored a hat trick before the halftime break for a comfortable 4-1 lead after Veselinov had scored the opening marker for Bulgaria. Alexandrov added two more goals after the break to decide the game. Radkov, Muhalov and Boyadjiev scored the other goals for Bulgaria, while Cafer, Tufan, Solak and Gokalp put the puck in for the Turkish side.
The game between the two neighbours at the Black Sea decided which European qualifier will travel to Ingolstadt to the 2012 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship next summer.
The third team, newcomer FYR Macedonia, had a rough debut in international play. They were steamrolled by Turkey (20-2) and Bulgaria (28-2) in the first two games of the three-team tournament.
The second qualifier will be determined in a Rest of the World Qualification that will be staged in New Plymouth, New Zealand, 18-20 November. New Zealand and South Africa, who were relegated from the recent Division I tournament, and Chinese Taipei will battle for the last spot in the 16-team World Championship.
Click here for box scores from the European Qualification.
Click here for photos from the European Qualification.
Click here for the schedule of the Rest of the World Qualification.