Losing to Canadians but reaching quarter-finals

Before the match, fans believed that Belarus would be able to defeat Canada in the World Championship’s quarter-finals; sadly, miracles don’t happen that often!
Before the match, fans believed that Belarus would be able to defeat Canada in the World Championship’s quarter-finals; sadly, miracles don’t happen that often! Belarus appears to have used up its luck by having beaten the US squad. The Canadians arrived in a mood ready to crush their opponents and, unsurprisingly, tore our team apart.


Canada’s Tyler Ennis (L) fights for the puck with Belarus’ Ilya Shinkevich

Within barely a minute, the Canadians had scored their first goal. Some fans had hardly had time to open their beer bottles. More goals were steadily forthcoming, with fans almost hiding their eyes in horror. Of course, ice hockey is a sport for ‘true’ men. Dave Lewis’ trainees played until the final whistle, ending with a score of 9:0.

The head coach of the Belarusian team made no attempt at excuses, saying, “Let me congratulate Todd, his training staff and all personnel, who demonstrated wonderful ice hockey. Their skills, speed, puck management, powerful attacks and tactics were at the highest possible level. There is nothing we could have done: we were simply surviving. I’m happy that this match is over. It’s definitely not the style of ice hockey we must and can play. The team did a great job in reaching the quarter-finals. Probably, it surprises some. We have a wonderful team and I’m proud of them.”

Despite the Belarusians’ loss to Canada, many are proud of the team, which has performed well so far throughout the World Championship, winning fans’ hearts. It seems that the whole city of talking about ice-hockey, on every trolley bus and in every café.  Our team is now among the eight strongest squads globally, and the Canadians are known as world leaders.

Following their World Championship play, Kevin Lalande, Andrey Kostitsyn and Alexey Kalyuzhny have been named best players, with Alexander Kitarov, Yevgeny Dadonov and Sergey Kostitsyn also worthy of recognition. All team members have shown their mettle, taking the squad into seventh place in the tournament ratings and 9th in the latest rankings, allowing Minsk to host a qualifying round for the 2018 Olympic Games from September 1st-4th, 2016. Mr. Lewis’ team will ‘challenge’ the ticket to Pyeongchang with the national teams of Denmark and Slovenia, as well as the squad that will earn this right in February 2016.

By Yegor Glebov

Photo by REUTERS

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