International Ice Hockey Federation

Late reward for Slovenia

Remains unbeaten after edging Italy

Published 24.04.2016 15:52 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Late reward for Slovenia
Slovenia's Miha Verlic tries to skate to the goal with Italy's Armin Hofer defending. Photo: Miroslaw Ring
Slovenia took the second win in its second game at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A, 3-1 against Italy.

The Slovenes outshot Italy, which had a strong start against host Poland the day before, 40-24 but had trouble capitalizing on its chances in front of Frederic Cloutier, who got the start today in Italy’s net. Eventually it was two shots from the blue line that led to Slovenia’s win.

“It’s our goal to win all five games and we are one step forward now. It was a tough game for us. We knew that they play really well defensively and don’t make many mistakes. We tried to be very aggressive in the offensive zone from the start and scored the first goal but then we didn’t score the second,” said Ziga Jeglic, who scored the game-winning goal on a deflection.

“They got us a little bit in the second half of the second period but in the third period we got better and deserved the win. If we could have scored more goals in the first period it would certainly have been easier for us.”

Slovenia was the more active team in the first period and Italy’s first penalty already led to the first goal. At 13:15 Jurij Repe shot from the blue line and beat a screened Cloutier through his five-hole.

It didn’t look like the Italians would come back into the game anytime soon at the beginning of the second period but at 6:47 they converted their first shot of the frame to tie the game when Luca Frigo initiated a counter-attack that ended with Giulio Scandella’s 1-1 marker. Later in the period Frigo had a similar scoring chance when the game opened up but none of the teams hit the back of the net for the remainder of the period.

“Slovenia started the game really strong and put a lot of pressure in the first period,” Scandella said. “After that we played very well. We just took too many penalties and they scored two power-play goals, I think that killed us today.”

The Slovenes had better chances and post shots but didn’t find the means to net the puck until at 5:23 of the third period they were eventually rewarded when Jeglic deflected a long shot from Sabahudin Kovacevic during a Slovenian power play.

The Italian comeback attempt was fruitless and Kovacevic scored the 3-1 goal into the empty net with 27 seconds left while Italy was playing 6-on-5 for a short time.