IZMIT, Turkey – International hockey was not only played in Sochi this week but also across the Black Sea in the Turkish city of Izmit near Istanbul where South Africa won the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group B.
The three-team round robin tournament started with host Turkey defeating newcomer Hong Kong, 5-2. Can Kaya and Ogun Uzunali scored goals for a 2-0 first-period lead but markers from Brad Ho Nam Lee and James Hing Pul Yen tied the game at two early in the third period. A goal from Berk Ustun and two from Ahmet Hars settled the case for the Turks.
Also the South Africans faced difficulties against the Hong Kongers in the beginning of the game. Hing Yui Tsang opened the scoring for Hong Kong at 13:38 but less than two minutes later Alex Obery tied it up and Dylan Compton gained the lead for South Africa at 2:34 of the second period. Yen scored another game-tying goal five minutes later but two unanswered goals from Brandon Husselman and Compton gave the South Africans a two-goal lead.
Hing Yul Tsang cut the deficit before the end of the middle frame but four goals in the third period – including Compton completing the hat trick – led to an 8-3 victory for South Africa.
It was the game between the two undefeated teams that would decide about the tournament win and which nation would get promoted to the Division III Group A. South Africa started with more scoring chances but it was the Turks who opened the scoring late in the second period. First Sefa Kavaz missed out on a penalty shot but one minute later Mustafa Bahce hit the back of the net.
However, the Turks ran into penalty trouble midway through the third stanza. South Africa used its time-out for the beginning of a two-man advantage and after seven seconds Keegan Thornton tied the game. With 2:32 left in regulation time it came even better for the South Africans as Brian Croft scored the 2-1 goal. The Turks were not able to react and the game ended with the 2-1 score and South Africa earning promotion.
MARTIN MERKFinal Ranking:
1. South Africa 6
2. Turkey 3
3. Hong Kong 0Individual Awards as selected by the Tournament Directorate
Best Goalkeeper: Charl Pretorius
Best Defenceman: Jonas Hanley Mak
Best Forward: Ahmet HarsClick here for scores, stats and photos.