In a tight game Korea decided the game thanks to two second-period goals from its third line. Jungwoo Jeon had two goals and two assists.
“We scouted the Romanian team and we knew it wouldn’t be an easy game. The coach told us to skate, skate, skate and break out fast. That’s what we did and that’s why we won the game,” the 27-year-old forward said.
The teams started the game cautiously. Although they had chances – Romania outshot Korea 13-11 in the opening frame – there were only few quality opportunities, which was reflected by the scoreless tie after 20 minutes.
Korea increased the tempo early in the second period and started with a power play it converted for the opening marker at 1:41. Won Jun Kim’s onetimer from behind the face-off circle went in after a pass from Jungwoo Jeon.
Also at even strength the Koreans continued to push the Romanians into their own zone and it was the same line that scored again. After Jungwoo Jeon’s pass it was again Won Jun Kim, who shot from the right side with Jeon and Yoon Seok Kang both in front of the net to deflect the puck through Zoltan Toke’s five-hole.
Although Romania started to create chances too in particular during a lengthy power play, it was the Koreans who were closer to the next goal with five minutes left in the period. After a pass to the far post from Kisung Kim, Jin Hui Ahn almost converted it for the 3-0 goal but the pucks got stuck in front of the line before being saved by Romanian goaltender Zoltan Toke.
“It was a busy game. It was hard for the team. We improved from yesterday’s game against Slovenia but we managed to keep it tied after the first period and then got two goals. We had our chances 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 but couldn’t score,” Toke said after the game.
For Romania it was repeated history as they already kept the score tied for one period against Slovenia before allowing goals in the middle frame. However, with 67 seconds left in the second period a power-play goal by Albert Zagidullin brought hope back for the Romanians. The forward beat Korea goalie Matt Dalton with a shot into the near corner.
Romania started the third period strong and had a power play but at 5:46 it was Minwan Kang, who capitalized on a rebound after a long shot from Minjae Lee. Jeon’s goal into the empty net with 84 seconds left sealed the 4-1 win for Korea.
Romania will now have to focus on Saturday’s game against Lithuania to avoid relegation before a neighbouring clash with Hungary on Sunday.
Korea kept its chances for promotion alive and will need a win tomorrow against Lithuania before facing host Slovenia on Sunday.