Recap: Day 4 – IIHF U20 World Championship, Division 1A
by Ameeta VOHRA|14 DEC 2023
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
Kazakhstan continues unbeaten streak, France and Denmark earn wins

Kazakhstan notched another win while France rebounded, and Denmark was victorious on Day 4 of the 2024 Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, Division 1A in Budapest, Hungary.
The tournament wraps up on Saturday with Denmark battling Japan, France squaring off against Hungary, and Kazakhstan putting their unbeaten streak on the line against Austria.


Kirill Lyapunov had a goal and an assist, including the game-winner as Kazakhstan continued their undefeated streak.
Japan took the lead in the first period when Fuji Suzuki fed the puck to Kazumo Sasaki, who flipped the puck over the shoulder of goaltender Vladimir Nitikin.
With 1:24 remaining in the period, Kazakhstan got the equalizer.  Kirill Lyapunov shot the puck, and Sazuku Kudo made the save.  Egor Smoliyaninov scooped up the rebound and buried it into the net.
In the second period, Kazakhstan extended their lead as Beibarys Orazov passed the puck to Lyapunov, who launched it past Kudo.
Ruslan Ospanov rounded out the scoring in the third period as he blasted the puck into the net.
The players of the game were Lyapunov for Kazakhstan and Kudo for Japan.
“We’re playing pretty good,” Kazakhstan’s Alexander Kim said. “We dominated Japan but they played well.  They had good tactics, have good, skilled players, and are very fast.”
With their final game on Saturday against Austria, Kazakhstan's focus shifted towards the task at hand.
“We're pretty happy, but all our focus is on the last game,” he said.  “It's an important game; Austria is a good opponent. We need to play our best game.”
Despite the loss, Japan’s highlight was Kudo’s performance in the net. He had 45 shots on goal and made 42 saves.
“We came in pretty sloppy,” Kazumo Sasaki said.  “Our goaltender did a good job. He gave us a chance to win the game.”


In a battle of two teams that suffered their first losses on Wednesday, France came out on top with a two-goal effort from Valentin Grossetete.
France opened the scoring in the first period. Nathan Cal connected with Hugo Norgaretto, who launched the puck top-shelf for the score.
The team extended their lead three minutes later when Grossetete got the puck past Benedikt Oschgan.
Austria reduced the deficit by one with 15 seconds left in the first period. Luca Erne sneaked the puck past goaltender Antoine Keller amid a lot of traffic at the net.
Early in the second period, Antoine Addamo and Emil Tavernier each scored a power-play goal within a span of 1:04.
Austria opted to change goaltenders. The team replaced Oschgan with Martin Reder.  Later in the period, Maximilian Wurzer tallied a goal.
Before the period ended, France struck again as Teo Toubhans-Besnier blasted the puck over Reder’s shoulder.
Goals by Johannes Neumann and Jonas Dobnig pulled Austria to within one goal of France in the third period.  It was not enough, as Raphael Chauvel’s shorthanded goal and Grossette’s empty-netter secured France’s victory.
The players of the game were Emil Tavernier for France and Neumann for Austria.
“Austria has a pretty good team, and we played a good hockey game,” Tavernier said.  “We deserved the victory because we played two big games at the beginning of the tournament. We are in second place, and it is a good feeling.”
The team looked ahead to their final game against Hungary on Saturday.
“It is going be fun, hopefully in front of a full house,” he said. “Our families are here, and we are getting a lot of energy from them.”
While Austria felt they were the better team for most of the game, they unraveled in the final few minutes.
“We ran out of focus for five minutes, and that is what you get on this level of competition,” Ian Scherzer said. “You have to be on for 60 minutes, play the hockey, and follow the game. We played better today than France, but sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. We should get our heads up and get a good game on Saturday.”


Thomas Mondrup’s power-play goal in the first period was the game-winner as Denmark notched their second straight win.
Five minutes into the first period, Anton Linde walked in and launched the puck past goaltender Patrik Csala.
Mondrup’s goal was the only other score in the first period.
Bence Horvath gave the home crowd something to cheer about as he connected with Dobos to score the goal.
Anton Linde raced down the left side of the ice into Hungary’s zone and connected with Daniel Olsson, who blasted the puck into the net.
The players of the game were Steinbergs for Demark and Marton Nemes for Hungary.
“We played well the first 15, then we went down a bit in level,” Steinbergs said.  “The coaches came in after the second period and said we needed to get it together. We did shut them down and got the win.”
Hungary felt confident heading into the final 20 minutes of the game.  Once Denmark scored their third goal, it sealed Hungary's fate.
"Today, we played quite well in the second period," Botand Bojko said. "We conceded an unfortunate goal in the third period."