The tournament will resume on Wednesday with Kazakhstan battling France, Japan facing host Hungary, and Austria squaring off against Denmark.
FRANCE 5, JAPAN 3Valentin Grossetete and Emil Tavernier each scored a pair of goals as France kept their undefeated streak intact at the tournament.
Grossetete opened the scoring at the 16:59 mark of the first period as he scooped up a rebound from Japan’s goaltender Issa Tamura and launched the puck into the net.
Japan replied as Serino Tyler Maxner tallied a power play goal by sneaking it past France’s goaltender Antoine Keller with 3:53 remaining in the period.
In the second period, both teams exchanged goals. Grosette went top shelf on Tamura while Maxner finished off Japan’s breakaway to the left of Keller.
Japan regained the lead 39 seconds after tying the game. Taisetsu Ushimo scored after a nice pass from Junya Kokuwa.
France would come back, thanks to Raphael da Garca Brites as he blasted the puck past Tamura to tie things up 7:23 into the third period. Four minutes later, Tavernier gives France the lead.
The players of the game were Grossetete for France and Ushio for Japan.
France was a little complacent and underestimated their opponents from Japan.
"We came into the game thinking it was going to be easy,” France defender James Eyre says. “It was not as easy as we thought, but we fought, played well, and won the game.
France will savour their day of rest on Tuesday before facing Kazakhstan, the tournament favourite.
“We have a good chance against them, and we're going to give them a real game,” he says.
As for Japan, there are some positives to draw from this loss.
“We did a lot of good things today, and it was a big improvement from our first game,” Japan’s head coach Perry Pearn says. “Those are things you build on. You've got to give France credit for how they played because they did a lot of good things and put a lot of pressure on us, especially in our zone.”
KAZAKHSTAN 3, DENMARK 2Ruslan Ospanov's goal over the shoulder of Denmark’s Kristers Steinbergs with 3:14 left in the game gave Kazakhstan their second win of the tournament.
Denmark scored at the 15:13 mark of the first period as the team began the play as a 3-on-1 breakaway.
However, Kazakhstan’s goaltender Vladimir Nitikin sprawled to make the save. Oscar Moelgaard scored as he was brought down on the play by a Kazakhstan defender.
It was a scoreless second period, but there were phenomenal saves from Nitikin and Steinbergs.
Kazakhstan would get the equalizer 4:57 into the third period as Beibarys blasts the puck past Steinbergs for the goal. Denmark regained the lead 2:16 later as great passing from Moelgaard and Hjalte Thomsen led to Albert Schioldan’s score.
Kirill Lyapunov went top shelf on Steinbergs to tie things up again between Kazakstan and Denmark.
After Ospanov’s goal, Denmark had an extra attacker out with 1:07 remaining in the game. Nitikin played the last 20 seconds of the game without his stick and made some great saves to hold off Denmark.
With Kazakhstan having to come back twice from a one-goal deficit, the team’s mentality was the key to their victory.
“We played as one team,” Nikitin says. “We were showing good character and success.”
The team credits the fans supporting them in the rink.
“We have a lot of fans here, and it is a great, friendly feeling,” he says.
Despite the loss, Austria is satisfied with how they played against their opponents.
“It was a good game from our side,” Schioldan says. “We fought good out there, but it was a shame we could not get the win. Our goal is to win as many games as we can.”
AUSTRIA 3, HUNGARY 2Gregor Biber scored with 51 seconds remaining in the game to give Austria their second win.
Hungary opened the scoring as they had a 5-on-3 power play opportunity in the first period. An Austrian deflected Laszlo Farkas' shot. Goaltender Benedikt Oschgan’s mishandling of the puck led to the goal.
About halfway through the period, David Cernik launched the puck past the shoulder of Levente Hegedus on the power play to tie the game.
Cernik would score his second of the game as he was right in front of the net and on the receiving end of an Ian Scherzer pass that came from behind the net. With 1:46 remaining in the second period, Hungary got the equalizer on the power play as Beneguz Dobos blasted the puck into the net.
“We got into some big troubles in the first and second period,” Oschgan says. “We didn’t play our game plan and took some big penalties. The last period was our best. We came back strong and blocked shots.”