Narrow escape for the Asians
IIHF WC 2012 U18 Division IIA - Great-Britain - South-Korea 3-4 (6-4-2012)

Peterborough Phantoms goalie Daniel Lane starts in de GB net, while Team South Korea elects to put Kim Kweon Young between the pipes.

A flying start by Team South-Korea. Kim Hyung Kyeum has the puck behind the GB net. He skates over the goalline, turns and shoots. And after only 2.07 it is a 0-1 game in favour of the Asians. Slick Jordan Cownie tries to level the score. Going in alone on goal he is denied by goaltender Kim Kweon Young. Jordan retrieves the puck at the boarding, but is stopped by a cross check by Kim Young Hoon of Kyunggi High School. Only seconds later a severe slashing by Harry Harley behind the play. The South-Korean player is taken off the ice on a stretcher with his head demobilised and wearing a neck brace. Chinese referee Wang Zhan Yong "rewards" this infraction with a major for slashing and an automatic game misconduct penalty. The major panelty is served by Myles Dacres. He gets company on the penalty bench from his captain David Clements who was sentenced to a ten minute misconduct penalty for abuse of officials. A shot by Lee Dong Gun just sails wide. Then Yoon Yae Hyun passes to defenseman Kim Young Jun at the blue line. Kim fires and scores with a low shot, 0-2 at 5.09. The South Koreans are not able to capitalise on the continuing powerplay. Occasionally GB emerges in front of Kim's goal. But the goalie stands strong denies Floyd Taylor and gloves the puck after a fine shot by Thomas Garrity. Bespectacled Jake Pitchley is sent off for tripping at 10.00. The South-Korean powerplay ends after only twelve seconds when Kim Geon Woo delays the game. Fourteen seconds later followed by culprits Hong Seong Yong, who so severely boards Bobby Chamberlain that he cannot stand on his feet for several minutes, and Lee Seung Hyuk. This leads to only one dangerous attack, when Zach Sullivan shoots form the blue line and Thomas Garrity goes for the rebound. But Kim stand tall. Soon it is clear who is the genius behind the play of South-Korea: diminutive Lee Dong Gun. The #2 is all over the ice, orchrestrating the play of his team, helping out on defence and fiercely passes on the stick of his compatriots. Souvenir sales vendor Hans de Lange approches me and says: "That tiny Lee is unbelievable. When six player go into the corner Lee always comes out with the puck." On with the topical action of the game. Kim Hyung Kyeum warmes the penalty bench and GB puts on a real good powerplay. Bobby Chamberlain first shot hits the goalie and he sends the rebound just over the cage. David Clements' is able to shoot the puck under the crawling Kim, but the puck slides just beside the wrong side of the goalpost. When they are at full strength again Korea pushes for another marker. And off course Lee Dong Gun is at the centre of the action. He feeds the puck from behind the goalline to Kim Young Jun on the blueline. Instantly Kim passes to Lee Seung Hyuk near the far goalpost. Lee reflects the puck into the net at 19.43 for a 0-3 score.

In the second stanza Team South-Korea has the momentum. Kim Tae Hoo's shot is just wide of the net. And a superpass by Lee Dong Gun could not be converted into a goal by Kim Young Hoon. But from time to time Team GB can do something back, but mostly on the powerplay. However at even strength Zach Sullivan rifles the puck form the bleuline and Ryan Webb rams the rebound home, 1-3 (30.33). Then the second South-Korean player - this time #21 Oh Gi Ryun - has to leave the ice on a stretcher. For which Floyd Taylor is sent off with a major for boarding and an automatic game misconduct penalty. And now Lee Duong Gun scores himself. His first shot is blocked by a player. His second shot hits the back of the net for 1-4 (39.20). At the same moment goaltender Daniel Lane has, for the second time, problems with the leashes of his legguards. He is replaced by Patrick Russell.

In the final period Daniel Lane is back between the pipes. With four consecutive penalties Korea gets itself into trouble.With five on three Benjamin Russell scores from left wing into the far corner of the goal and it is a 2-4 match at 45.44. And again a Korean player, this time Jeon Jung Woo for holding, has to skate to the sin bin. A shot from the blueline is deflected into the net by Benjamin Russell for his second marker of the match. And then GB only trails by one goal, with 11.32 to go. Team Great-Britain pushes for the equalizer. However this is hindered by an exclusion of Jake Pitchley. Daniel Lane has to deny Bang Jun Young on a wrap around. At the other end Garrity as well as Ross Venus are unsuccessful against netminder Kim. And at 59.10 GB coach Mark Beggs pulls his goaltender for an extra skater. When Kim Geon Woo sends the puck over the plexiglass in his own end Great-Britain has a two man advantage from 59.33. But 3-4 it remains.

A narrow escape by Team South Korea, who just survived despite being penalised too often. And that was not due to referee Wang Zhan Yong, who did a very good job. The match MVP for Team South-Korea is defenseman Kim Young Jun. For Team Great-Britain Jordan Cownie is honoured man of the match. For the tournament MVP of South-Korea Lee Dong Gun is elected, while Ross Venus gets the nod for Great-Britain.

Photo series of the match:

IIHF WC 2012 U18 Division IIA - Great-Britain - South-Korea 3-4 (6-4-2012)