Poland Stunned in Ice Hockey Tournament



KRYNICA–  Korea shocked host team Poland with a 3-2 win in the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Division I Group B, tournament here.  Korea had a third period flurry and kept the offensive pressure on until the finish. 

Korea will now be promoted to the Division-I, Group A for next year.  Korea got to the gold medal game with a 4-3 overtime win over the Netherlands.

Piotr Sarnik (23) of Poland camps in front of Korean net.  Korea stunned host Poland 3-2 for the tourney championship. 

Photo courtesy of PZHL

In front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Krynica Ice Stadium, Hyung Joon Kim scored the winner early in the third period.  

Korea silenced the home crowd as they had rallied back from two goals down.  “I am proud of my players.  My players are not big or strong, but they are good skaters and have a big hearts,” said Hee Woo Kim, Korea’s assistant coach.   “Today everybody won this game for us as a team, and that is the important point.”

The Polish National Team was the considered favorite as they had had a hot scoring touch throughout most of the tournament.  Going in to the final game, both teams were still undefeated and each side knew that a win would mean promotion to the Division I Group A.

Poland scored first with a goal from defenseman Jerzy Gabrys on a pass from Leszek Laszkiewicz.  Laszkiewicz also set up Poland’s second tally when he took a Patryk Wajda pass from behind the net and fed Piotr Sarnik, who scored.    

Poland continued to press and got a great chance to extend their lead when Tomasz Malasinski got a break away coming out of the penalty box and was one-on-one with Hyunseung Eum.  Eum made a great save to keep Korea in the game.

Polish head coach Wiktor Pysz said after the game, “I knew that this would be the deciding game and we played a good tactical game where we tried to block the play in the neutral zone to avoid Korea gaining speed.”  

The Korean speed was evident throughout the game and was showcased in the first period.  Sangwoo Sin and Yongjun Lee assisted on Won Jung Kim’s goal with 2:18 left in the first stanza.  In the beginning of the second period Korea tied the score when Sangwoo Sin scored on a pass from Yongjun Lee.  Yongjun Lee assisted on all three Korea goals. 

“Even when we went two goals down, we were not going to give up.  Instead we kept going,” added Hee Woo Kim.  “We believed in our team and we believed in our speed.”

Spokesperson for the Polish team, Patryk Rokicki added, “Of course we are disappointed, in my opinion the most important moment of this game was the chance of Tomasz Malasinski.  The momentum slipped away after that.”  

The Netherlands got the bronze medal with a 7-1 victory over Lithuania.

 Special Awards picked by the Tournament Committee

Best Goalkeeper: Ian Meierdres, Netherlands
Best Defenseman: Adam
Borzecki, Poland
Best Forward:
Marcin Kolusz, Poland