Kazakhstan wins another tournament
by Andy Potts|11 FEB 2019
Kazakhstan and Korea are among the teams battling for promotion to the top-level IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
photo: Andri Basevych
2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A host Kazakhstan is in good shape. After having won its tournament during the November break, the Kazakh men’s national team also won the Legacy Cup in Korea.

Korea celebrates Olympic legacy

One year after the Winter Olympics, international hockey returned to PyeongChang with a special four-team Legacy Cup followed by a three-team women’s tournament going on now. The men’s competition ended with Kazakhstan taking top spot ahead of Latvia, while Korea finished third thanks to a 2-0 win over Japan. Goals from Eric Regan and Sangjin Park secured that win against Korea’s biggest rival. For Kazakhstan, the tournament was a useful warm-up for next month’s Winter Universiade, with the team selecting a relatively youthful roster and leaving the KHL players of Barys Astana at home.

For Korea, meanwhile, the competition represented the start of a new era. Jim Paek’s team called on just three of the seven dual-nationals who played at the Olympics and took the opportunity to welcome several youngsters to the roster. 

One of the veteran dual nationals, goalie Kevin Dalton, is looking forward to seeing the next generation develop like the group that won promotion to the World Championship elite and represented the country at the Olympics. “It reminds me a lot of when we started. We had a lot of good players but we hadn't really had coaching," Dalton told the Korean Times. "We have these guys that are excited to be here. They have a lot of energy, but they haven't really played a lot. Once they start to get the experience, it's going to be like the process that we had before. I feel like they're going to start taking on roles of the older guys that were here before."

Kazakhstan went up 3-0 against both Japan and Korea to eventually win the games against the Asian rivals 5-2 and 5-1 respectively. Arkadi Shestakov and Nikita Leshenko scored Kazakhstan’s goals in the deciding game for first place. Kazakhstan had the upper hand for most of the game with a 40-29 shot-on-goal advantage against Latvia but Rudolfs Maslovskis tied it up in the third period. Anton Nekryach scored Kazakhstan’s game-winner at 3:07 of the overtime period.

Belarus last in Slovakia

Belarus, the top-seeded team in the Division I Group A, played at the Kaufman Cup in Bratislava that was won by host Slovakia. Craig Ramsay’s roster started with a 2-1 shootout win over Belarus after a late tying goal from Radovan Pulis took the game into the extras. Then on Saturday, Slovakia defeated Russia B-team 5-1 with 20-year-old forward Samuel Bucek leading the way with two goals. The HC Nitra youngster made his international debut at the tournament. The other game in the three-team contest saw the Russians edge Belarus 2-1 thanks to goals from Vladimir Tkachyov and Alexander Khokhlachyov.

Three Division I teams in Slovenia

The Euro Challenge tournament in Slovenia ended with the host nation on top. Victories over Hungary (4-1) and Italy (2-1) gave the home team an unassailable advantage in the four-team tournament and even an overtime loss to Belarus B in the closing game could not deny Slovenia gold. Italy came second thanks to a 1-0 overtime win over third-placed Hungary, with the Belarusian B team ending in fourth despite that last-day win.


Euro Hockey Tour - Sweden Hockey Games
7 Feb. Yaroslavl (RUS) Russia Finland 3-2 SO
7 Feb. Stockholm (SWE) Czech Rep. Sweden 5-2
9 Feb. Stockholm (SWE) Finland Czech Rep. 1-3
9 Feb. Stockholm (SWE) Sweden Russia 4-2
10 Feb. Stockholm (SWE) Russia Czech Rep. 3-1
10 Feb. Stockholm (SWE) Sweden Finland 4-5 SO
Standings: 1. Czech Rep. 6, 2. Russia 5, 3. Sweden 4, 4. Finland 3.
Standings EHT: 1. Russia 19, 2. Finland 13, 3. Sweden 11, 4. Czech Rep. 11.
Kaufland Cup in Slovakia
7 Feb. Bratislava (SVK) Slovakia Belarus 2-1 SO
8 Feb. Bratislava (SVK) Belarus Russia B 1-2
9 Feb. Bratislava (SVK) Slovakia Russia B 5-1
Standings: 1. Slovakia 5, 2. Russia B 3, 3. Belarus 1.
Osterreich Cup in Austria
7 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) Norway France 2-0
7 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) Austria Denmark 2-4
8 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) Austria France 3-2
8 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) Denmark Norway 3-4
9 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) Austria Norway 2-0
9 Feb. Klagenfurt (AUT) France Denmark 1-4
Standings: 1. Denmark 6, 2. Austria 6, 3. Norway 6, 4. France 0.
Legacy Cup in Korea
6 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Kazakhstan Japan 5-2
6 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Korea Latvia 2-6
7 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Japan Latvia 3-6
7 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Kazakhstan Korea 5-1
8 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Latvia Kazakhstan 2-3 OT
8 Feb. Gangneung (KOR) Korea Japan 2-0
Standings: 1. Kazakhstan 8, 2. Latvia 7, 3. Korea 3, 4. Japan 0.
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Slovenia
6 Feb. Bled (SLO) Italy Belarus B 3-2
6 Feb. Bled (SLO) Slovenia Hungary 4-1
7 Feb. Bled (SLO) Belarus B Hungary 3-5
7 Feb. Bled (SLO) Slovenia Italy 2-1
8 Feb. Bled (SLO) Italy Hungary 1-0 OT
8 Feb. Bled (SLO) Slovenia Belarus B 2-3 OT
Standings: 1. Slovenia 7, 2. Italy 5, 3. Hungary 4, 4. Belarus B 2.
Three Nations Tournament in Ukraine
7 Feb. Brovary (UKR) Ukraine Poland 1-2 SO
8 Feb. Brovary (UKR) Ukraine Poland 1-5
9 Feb. Brovary (UKR) Poland Romania 0-2
10 Feb. Brovary (UKR) Ukraine Romania 0-3
Standings: 1. Romania 6, 2. Poland 3, 3. Ukraine 0.
Other games
5 Feb. Memmingen (GER) Germany B Switzerland B 4-2
6 Feb. Bietigheim (GER) Germany B Switzerland B 2-5
6 Feb. Coventry (GBR) Great Britain Dinamo Riga 3-1