IIHF WC 2010 Division I, Group A - Tilburg, Netherland 19 April 2010 - Ukraine - Lithuania 12-5

The opening match of the tournament. With for Team Ukraine off course the in the Netherlands known Oleg Tymchenko and Team Lithuania again with Egidijus Bauba.

Due to a miscommunication about tickets I miss the first minutes of play. In which Oleg Materukhin of Ukraine scored 1-0. Ukraine permanently pressures the Lithuania cage. But is not after 14.17 that the East-European team manages to score it's second of the match. On left wing Kostiantyn Kasianchuk rushes with the puck. He passes in the slot right on the stick of Andrei Mikhnov, who beats goalie Arturas Kuzmicius for 2-0. Even with a man disadvantage Ukraine rules ont the ice. But Vitalii Liutkevych sees his tallies pass the wrong side of the goal post. On the following powerplay Lithuania manages two shots on goal. Karolis Nekracevisius gets off a (weak) shot and Dovydas Kulevicius shoots while spinning around. Vadym Seliverstov denies them both.

Then in the second period it is goals galore. Andrei Sriubko passes in the slot to Sergei Varlamov, who shovels the puck into the net, 3-0 (21.07). Not a minute later Oleksandr Materukhin stes up Oleg Tymchenko who tallies the fourth, 4-0 at 22.00. But right after the face off a break by team Lithuania a nice pass from Karolis Nekrasevicius to the young Tadas Kumeliauskas who fakes a shot to the right and backhands the puck into the net for 4-1 (22.25). But team Ukraine counters with a goal by Roman Salnikov at 23.59 (5-1). On the powerplay Tadas Kumeliauskas scores again with a onetimer fro the left in the far top corner, 5-2 after 25.34. Then Martinas Slikas is free to solo from the red line into the attacking zone and scores. And at 32.04 the score is 5-3. With two players undefended players on Vadym Seliverstov's doorstep it is agian Tadas Kumeliauskas who beats the goaltender for 5-4 at 35.10. What kind of a comeback is this? The seeming overpowering Ukraine squad lets Lithuania come back into the game. A few opportunities and great scoring effyciency by the Mikhail Zakharov coached team and the Baltics are back. But before the period ends Kostiantyn Kasianchuk tips in a Andrei Mikhnov pass for a two goal lead at 36.35 (6-4).

For the final period Ukrainian goaltender Vadym Seliverstov is replaced by Kostiantyn Simchuk. The task for team Ukraine is clear: To show who is the master on the ice. A shot from the blue line by Denys Isaienko is deflected into the net by Artem Bondariev, (43.10 7-4). A shot through the five hole from Oleg Shafarenko means 8-4 (44.27). Later on at the other side of the rink Tadas Kumeliauskas is denied a goal by netminder Simchuk. But Dovydas Kulevicius rifles the puck home for 8-5 (53.20). But enough is enough and Ukraine settles for a grand final. And in five minutes and two seconds Sergei Varlamov and co. produce another four goals (by Vadym Shakhraychuk, Kostiantyn Kasianchuk, Roman Salnikov and finally at 59.46 Oleksandr Materukhin) to make it a 12-5 match.

Team Ukraine deservedly won the encounter. When they played as they should play they overpowered Lithuania totally. But when Ukraine took it for granted they easily could win the match the Lithuanians showed they only needed one chance to score. With 19 year old Tadas Kumeliauskas scoring three big and beautiful goals. Best players: Oleg Tymchenko (Ukraine) and Tadas Kumeliauskas (Lithuania).