Almaty. May 31. Information Center - Kazakhstan
got an early power play when Stefano Giliati went off for holding at 2:03 and
it took them just nine seconds to capitalize. From down low, Curtis Valk found
Roman Starchenko at the back door and it was 1-0 on the game’s first shot on
goal, The Astana Times reports.
But that kind of offence wasn’t indicative of what was to
come in the first period, as the Italians ground the flow to a near halt. Shots were just 6-5 Italy after 20
even at 24:37 when Petan found Angelo Miceli with a backhand pass, and the HC
Bolzano forward made no mistake, using his long reach to beat Nikita Boyarkin
on the forehand deck.
we were in it, even the shots were not as bad in the other games,” said Miceli.
“We played two good periods and had a letdown in the third. It’s high-level of
hockey and you cannot take a shift off and we took a period off. We had penalty
trouble and that cost us.”
tied past the game’s midpoint but the Kazakhs regained the lead and gave
themselves a bit of breathing room with two goals 2:28 apart. After some
sustained pressure in the Italian zone, Alikhan Asetov found Yegor Petukhov
wide open in front, and he easily beat a sprawling Justin Fazio.
Italian players weren’t covering me very well, and it was very free around the
net,” Petukhov explained. “Alikhan made the pass and I scored the goal. This
goal didn’t decide the game. There was still a lot of time in front of us, so I
kept my emotions inside but I was very happy.”
Then from a
tight angle, Yevgeni Rymarov was able to pick the near-side top corner over
Fazio’s left shoulder to make it 3-1.
planning to shoot from there but the goalie fell down and that created some
room upstairs, so I went for it and hit it,” Rymarov smiled.
that we were stronger and had more skilled players, but they defended against
us very well,” said Kazakh coach Yuri Mikhailis. “But then once we scored the
second and third goals, things started to go better. After that, the guys
relaxed, started making better passes and nice combinations.”
Down by two
goals, the Italians had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:25 late in the second period
and desperately needed a goal to get themselves back into the game. They came
close, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
traded goals in the second minute of the third period. On the power play,
Starchenko found Nikita Mikhailis for the tap-in at the far post for his third
goal in two games to make it 4-1 Kazakhstan, but 22 seconds later Peter
Hochkofter put a backhander over Boyarkin to make it a two-goal game again.
Kazakhstan broke the game open with three goals in a span of 3:34 to make it a
7-2 game. First it was Valk with another power-play goal, then a pair of goals
by Likhotnikov, showing his speed and soft hands with a couple of nice goals.
“We kind of
dropped down physically, we looked tired and were late,” said Italian coach
Giorgio de Bettin. “After these three goals in the third period we mentally
gave up. We have to analyze what happened but the main reason is we were physically
tired in the end and couldn’t keep up with them.”
point, Fazio was mercifully pulled in favour of Davide Fadani, giving the
youngster half a period of work. But the Kazakhs showed no mercy on him either.
After Petan got Italy’s third goal, Kirill Panyukov, Starchenko, Viktor
Svedberg and Yegor Shalapov on a two-man advantage rounded out the scoring. In
the third period, four of Kazakhstan’s eight goals came on the power play.
As a result, 11-3.
“We are not euphoric. It could have been after the first
game or after the game against Finland. But you see that the team is tuned in
to each match and given away. We will also continue to go out and give all our
energy to the game for the result,” said Kazakh coach Yuri Mikhailis after the
“The mood on the team is very good right now,” said Rymarev.
“We’re happy with every win but our emotions are in control because our work
isn’t finished. We will approach the next game as we do the others, play our
game and try to win.”
“We knew it’s going to be a tough game especially at the
start and after playing yesterday,” said Valk. “We found a good start and found
our legs a bit and pulled it away. It feels good to be rewarded and see some
guys score goals. The guys are having a lot of fun. We came here with the
attitude that we’re kind of the underdogs and come into every game to win.”
In addition to winning with a large score, with 5 points
(2+3) Starchenko also set an individual record for the current Championship in
terms of the number of points scored in one match. After this game, the captain of the Kazakh team
was among the top three scorers with 7 (3+4) points together with the Danish
Nicklas Jensen and Slovak Peter Cehlarik.
shootout victories over Latvia and Finland and a regulation win over Germany,
things have gone very well for Kazakhstan as the Central Asian nation eyes its
first ever quarter-final berth at the World Championships», writes the website
of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
over Italy allowed Kazakhstan even to become the leaders of group B, but only
for a few hours. On Monday, the last match is against Norway, which has lost
the chance of getting into the playoffs.
now the Kazakhstan team has set a record. The team scored more points at this
tournament than during the entire all time of participation in the world elite
championships since Independence.
this record will also be updated very soon.