Division 1, Group A in Belarus
A bit of an upset here, and a big win for Great Britain considering they're likely a bubble team for relegation at this point. Italy might have put themselves out of contention for the important 3rd place spot with this result. Jack Prince scored on a penalty shot early in the second period and former Ottawa 67s forward Robert Farmer added a shorthanded goal while Ben Bowns of the EPIHL's Sheffield Steeldogs made 45 saves for the shutout. Italy outshot the Brits 45-17.
Nine different players scored for Latvia, who dominated throughout against a team that is trying to finish third in the group. It's a bit of tough luck for Latvia, as they probably have a better team this year than they had last year when they were in the top group. Janis Kalinins made twenty saves for the shutout as the Latvians outshot the Ukrainians 47-20. The Latvians got great production from their fourth line in this one, as Girts Jansons (1+2) and Bruno Zabis (0+3) led the team offensively.
This game was surprisingly tight. Through two periods, the score was tied at 1 and shots were only 19-18 for Belarus. Then the home team finally played like the favourites and scored three times in the third period while outshooting the Japanese 16-7. Pavel Stepanov scored the game winner on a power play early in the third while Alexander Borodulya made 24 saves for the 2-0 Belarussians.
No games in this group on Wednesday, they'll be back in action with three games on Thursday.
Division 1, Group B in Slovenia
Ken Ograjensek scored four times in this home team showcase, the only game of the night in Bled. Shots were 56-23, and nobody died, so that's nice. When you see enough of these types of scores, you tend to focus on the positives. Actually, there was a game misconduct for slashing, as Slovenian player Anze Kuralt got 2+10+game for an incident in the second period.
Wednesday's games: Austria (2-0) vs. Croatia (0-2); Lithuania (0-2) vs. Kazakhstan (0-2); Denmark (2-0) vs. Slovenia (2-0).
Division 2, Group A in Estonia
Robin Gaborit had three goals and three assists, and the shots were 69-10. France showed they don't belong at this level, and Belgium may be in danger of showing they don't, either. Of course, when dealing with U20s, the next year's team could be quite different. Moving on...
This epic bout of revenge for the World Cup final was actually not as close as the score would indicate: the Dutch outshot Spain 47-23, but they also took a lot of penalties to keep things interesting. Tom Marx scored the winner in the second period and walked away with top player honours.
Sixteen year old Bjorn Sigurdarson, who plays in Sweden's J18 Elit level, scored his first international goal for Iceland to open the scoring, but the surprising 1-0 lead didn't last after the first period. Artur Fedoruk (2+1), Juri Medjanoi (0+3), and draft eligible forward Robert Rooba (1+2) led the way for Estonia, who outshot Iceland 52-27.
Division 2, Group B in Romania
Matthew Anderson (1+3), Jamie Bourke (1+3), and Adrian Nash (2+2) led the way for Australia as they put together a much needed dominant performance in order to avoid relegation. China is in danger of going to Division 3 next year as a result.
Aron Chimielewski followed up his four goal performance Monday with two goals and an assist to help the Poles to a 2-0 record. Shots were actually a respectable 40-23 for Poland, so South Korea got some bad goaltending in this one to make it look worse than what it was.
Attila Nemeth had a hat trick, as Hungary continued their domination at this tournament. Shots were 48-29, so it was a well earned second straight shutout for Adam Vay. This is a tough one for the hosts, but this Hungarian team is probably going to win this group by quite a margin.
No games in Division 2, in either group on Wednesday.