International Ice Hockey Federation

Slovenia back on track

Goes for gold after win against Korea

Published 27.04.2016 21:31 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Slovenia back on track
Slovenia’s Ken Ograjensek and Luka Vidmar win the battle for the puck against Korea’s Won Jung Kim. Photo: Miroslaw Ring
After a surprise loss to Poland and dropping down to third place Slovenia is back in the race for promotion after beating surprise team Korea 5-1.

Thanks to today’s win the Slovenes have it in their own hand in the final game against Austria, which has been undefeated until now, to win the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A and earn the ticket to the top division for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Cologne (Germany) and Paris (France) on Friday.

Five different players from two lines scored for Slovenia while Kisung Kim gave Korea the early lead with his team’s only goal of the game.

“Yesterday it was a tough loss but today it was a different game. It was kind of rough when they scored early but after that we managed to be a better opponent and scored some goals and in the end deserved to win,” Slovenian forward Ales Music said.

Already after 40 seconds Kisung Kim scored after Sangwook Kim had overrun the Slovenian defence. Nine minutes later Slovenia had the first power play of the game and Robert Sabolic scored after a long pass to the crease from Sabahudin Kovacevic. And although Korea had more chances in the period, it was Slovenia’s Anze Kuralt, who scored the next goal on a counter-attack with 29.4 seconds left to give Slovenia a 2-1 first-period lead.

Slovenia improved its defensive play in the second period and extended the lead when Ales Music found the back of the net after a perfect drop pass from behind the goal line from Anze Kuralt. At 14:21 of the middle frame Ziga Jeglic was patiently defending the puck behind the opponents net until he saw Rok Ticar free some metres in front of the net who converted the feed for the 4-1 goal.

Slovenia continued to have the game under control in the third period and halfway through the frame Klemen Pretnar made it 5-1.

“It was a difficult day for us yesterday. Today we said we have to give 100 per cent and don’t give them chances. It didn’t work out in the first minute but after that we made the right decisions and finished the game the way we wanted,” Pretnar said.

The Slovenes are now looking forward to play Austria for tournament win on Friday. Korea is out from the race for gold but will battle for a medal of another colour in its last game against Italy.

Slovenian players Ziga Pance, Ziga Jeglic, Ales Music and Andrej Hebar were honoured for their 100th international game with the men's national team.