“It was a pretty good game today we had some time to prepare today against Korea,” said forward Tobias Lindstrom. “We feel ready and look forward to playing the next two games.”
Norway came into the game as favourites against a Korean team that had not played in an IIHF event since 2019. But it was the Koreans who surprisingly struck first, going up 1-0 by taking advantage of a sleeping Norwegian defence to stun the home crowd.
Korean forward Sangwoo Shin outraced the defenceman to the puck and made a great centering pass to oncoming teammate Kisung Kim. Kim faked out goalie Henrik Haukeland and slotted the shot home with a backhand.
But Norway tied things up less than two minutes later, as a faceoff win and a follow up shot by Erlend Lesund from along the boards found its way through some legs and slipped past goalie Matt Dalton.
Just over two minutes later, a bad Korean turnover within their defensive zone then allowed Ken-Andre Olimb to score his first of the tournament and give Norway a 2-1 lead.
“We had a great start we weren’t patient and couldn’t keep it going,” said Jonghyun Jung. “We have a great foundation and great structure, we need to keep pushing and do our best.”
In the second period, Norway added some insurance on a rebound score from Stefan Espeland, then in the third Tobias Lindstrom put the game on ice to give Norway the all-important victory in the best-of-three qualification tournament.
Norway will next get a tough test coming up against Slovenia on Friday, who will be in must-win mode after dropping their opener to Denmark. The Koreans, meanwhile will face the Danes in their second Group F game.