• Late luck for Kazakhstan

    From IIHF News@1:266/404 to All on Sun Apr 22 13:32:11 2018
    Kazakhstan started the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group
    A with a win thanks to three unanswered third-period goals against Hungary.

    Hungary and Kazakhstan shared some history recently. They were both relegated at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia and one year later neither team managed to get back at the Division I Group A in Kyiv, Ukraine. So
    here they meet again at the same level, one year after the Kazakhs had won 3-1 on the last day to get Div. IA bronze.

    Wins by Kazakhstan used to be normal in this clash for a long time until one evening five years ago here at the Laszlo Papp Sportarena in Budapest. Viktor Tokaji scored the game winner in a 2-1 victory for Hungary, its first ever against Kazakhstan after five previous losses. It eventually didn't help as Kazakhstan ended up earning promotion but it helped Hungary's self-esteem and its goal to become a more regular top-level participant. Eventually the Magyars
    made it two years later.

    Back in Budapest, the hosts had their chances to win again. Kazakhstan started with two straight penalties and Hungary outshot their opponent 11-8 in the first and 12-7 in the second period without seeing the puck in the net.

    With 2:31 left in the second period the Hungarian fans hoped the spell was broken during a power play but Kazakhstan's "Swedish Wall" Henrik Karlsson stopped the puck before the blue line.

    Eventually the third period brought change. Maybe it was the "Kalinka" song that was played before the face-off, or just destiny, luck or simply a laser of
    a shot. Valeri Orekhov was the man whose shot from the blueline went into the top-right corner and made the Hungarians stun of disbelief.

    It was his first goal in his first game for the Kazakh men's national team in an IIHF event for the 18-year-old defenceman, who played his first KHL season in the Barys Astana season.

    Now it was on Hungary to react but a counter-attack made hopes for a win even less realistic. Roman Starchenko found Yevgeni Rymarev at the blueline who beat
    Hungarian goalie Adam Vay on his breakaway to make it 2-0 just 57 seconds after
    the first goal.

    It was a when-it-rains-it-pours period for Hungary as the hosts didn't get a chance to find back into the game. One minute after the second goal Arnold Varga got a penalty for tripping and just before it expired Rymarev scored his second goal.

    The fans didn't stop cheering on their team but as the minutes counted down it became clear that Kazakhstan would open with a win.


    --- SBBSecho 3.04-Win32
    * Origin: TequilaMockingbird Online - Toms River, NJ (1:266/404)