Joining the club of the best

Belarus’ junior hockey team (U18) defeats Germany — 5:3 — in final match of 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship Division 1 Group A, taking it through to the elite

Belarus’ junior hockey team (U18) defeats Germany — 5:3 — in final match of 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship Division 1 Group A, taking it through to the elite
Belarus’ junior hockey team (U18) defeats Germany — 5:3 — in final match of 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship Division 1 Group A, taking it through to the elite


Moment from the decisive match

Over 9,000 fans came to the decisive match at Chizhovka-Arena, where Yuri Faikov’s squad ensured a comfortable advantage of two points, to fans’ joy. The Belarusians suffered some ‘unfounded’ removals during the match yet managed to endure, and claim first place in Group A. Accordingly, our sportsmen will enter the junior hockey’s elite division next year.

Early in the match, Igor Martynov opened the score and another followed just over a minute later, when Ilya Litvinov caught his partner’s puck and the rival goalkeeper failed to react promptly: the puck changed trajectory during flight.

The successful beginning encouraged the host team to relax slightly, but the German squad immediately used this to their advantage, with Niklas Postel taking a backhand shot just before halftime, to score. Belarusian goalkeeper Dmitry Rodik came down on the puck too early and lost it over his shoulder.


Holding the trophy

The second half was dramatic as, in the 23rd minute, our Belarusian team restored its advantage of two points, and then lost two pucks in a row. However, in the third period, Sergey Pishchuk took a rebound goal and Igor Martynov scored twice.

The last time that the Belarusian U-18 team performed in the strongest division was in 2010, when the tournament was hosted by Minsk and Bobruisk. Six years ago, we left the elite of world junior hockey. Our U18 national team did best in 2002, occupying fifth place in Slovakia.

By Igor Leshin
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