Belarus or Kazakhstan?
by Martin Merk|04 MAY 2019
Last time the teams played in a World Championship event, Belarus beat Kazakhstan 4-1 on home ice at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Who will win the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan? The decision will be taken on the ice of the Barys Arena this weekend. Belarus and Kazakhstan, the only undefeated teams after three rounds, will battle it out on Saturday evening.

The game starts at 18:00 local time and can be watched live on Qazsport in Kazakhstan, Belarus 1s in Belarus (15:00) or on the live stream in the game centre on elsewhere.

Both teams have nine points and a +6 goal difference and have showed great performances so far. That’s why it’s hard to predict which of these two nations that joined the IIHF after the break-up of the Soviet Union will celebrate a win today.

What was already clear before entering Saturday: Kazakhstan would win the tournament with a regulation-time win against Belarus in any case since it would then have beaten both Belarus and third-placed Korea. For Belarus it would depend on the other games.

Beside the tournament win there’s the question which two teams will be promoted to the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland. Belarus? Kazakhstan? Both of them? Or will Korea have a comeback in the standings? We will know more soon.

Below you can find a little Belarus vs. Kazakhstan comparation before watching the game.
  Belarus Kazakhstan
Last time in top division 2018 2016
Best placing World Championship 6 12
Top-level World Championship participations 19 8
Olympic participations (men) 3 2
Men's World Ranking 14 18
Recent U20 Ranking 12 9
Recent U18 Ranking 5 12
Population 9,549,747 18,556,698
Registered players 5,370 6,478
Male adult players 1,662 439
Indoor rinks 38 39
KHL team Dynamo Minsk Barys Nur-Sultan
KHL regular season 24th (11th West) 5th (2nd East)
KHL playoffs did not qualify conference semi-finals
KHL average attendance (reg. season) 9495 6448
Teams in top national league 17 10
National champion Yunost Minsk Beibarys Atyrau
Average attendance top national league 717 604