World Championship Icehockey 2014 Division III - United Arab Emirates - North Korea 1-12 (2014-04-11)


Kockelscheuer. Luxembourg, Friday 11 April 2014. Unfortunately I arrive during the match UAE versus North Korea. In the line up of the Emirates some players were there on the 2010 National Team that competed at the Worlds in Luxembourg. Both goaltenders Khaled al Suwaidi and Ahmed al Dhaheri and skaters Mohammed al Shamisi, Omar al Shamisi, Juma al Dhaheri, Saeed al Nuaimi belonging to the returnees. For the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea last years topscorer Chol Min Ri was back, but Sung Hyok Ju replaced him as captain. Also netminder Chol Kuk Pak was back in the line up. Carlo Welter - father of Luxembourg National team members Benny Welter and goalie Michel Welter - said:"With the North Korean team it was like five years ago. All telephones and television sets had to be removed from the hotel rooms of the Korean delegation." And about the Emirates team:"They seem not be accostumed to body contact and checking. As team Luxembourg played them the ambulance had to take two UAE players to hospital. One had a broken arm. And we did not play dirty at all, just a checking game."

But let's go to the on ice action. There is 26.59 to go in the encounter. The score is 1-6. Chun Rim Hong netted the puck in both the first and second period, while the lone Emirates goal was scored by Abdulla al Harmoodi. A shot from the left wing by Khalifa al Mahrouqi is gloved by the Korean netminder. A blast from left wing by Ju Hyok Kim is countered by goaltender Khaled el Suwaidi. A cross check penalty against Mohammed al Shamisi has in the first instance no negative effects for the Arab team, because of good penalty killing by Mubarak al Mazrouqi and Saeed al Nuaimi. But in a dangerous situation in front of his net Faisal al Suwaidi displaces the goal and gets a delay of game penalty. 70 seconds Korea (Chol Min Ri, Song Gun Kim, Nam Hyok Kim, Se Gwang Ri and captain Sung Hyok Ju) has a two man advantage over the Emirates (Omar al Shamisi, Mohammed al Dhaheri and Yahya al Jneibi). North Korea attacks fiercely. Then only a one man advantage is left for Korea. But they need the help of the opponent to score a seventh marker. Mohammed al Dhaheri loses the puck in the corner of the rink to Chun Rim Hong. From behind the goalline Hong passes into the slot. The puck ricochets from the stick of an Emirate player into the net, 1-7 after 38.03.

In the final period the Emirates team occasionally emerges in front of the Korean goal. For instance when Mubarak al Mazrouei and Saeed al Nuaimi team up to attack or when Omar al Shamisi fires at net and goaltender Il Pak (It is not true that Kuk Chol Pak played the whole of the match, although the score sheet says so). But otherwise Korea seems on a continuous powerplay. Khaled al Suwaidi smothers the puck under his legguard after a fierce shot by Song Jin Pak. And Khaled also has to block a shot by Chol Hyok An and the following rebound by Chol Jin Ri. But when Hyok Ju Kim feeds Chun Rim Hong the latter scores his fourth of the match, 1-8 after 46.06. Shortly after that Chol Jin Ri from the corner of the rink centers the puck and with a onetimer Ju Hyok Kim scores, 1-9 (49.44). Three attacks later Chol Hyok Kim sets up a speedy play and feeds Kuk Chol Kim who only has to tip in the puck, 1-10 after 50.56. Under a minute later a low shot by Ju Hyok Kim in the far corner means 1-11 (51.41). Defenseman Song Gun Kim aims for the far corner of the goal and scores 1-12 (53.07). The total collapse of the UAE seems close. But despite a cross check penalty against Faisal al Suwaidi the Emirates, thanks to goaltender Khaled al Suwaidi, keeps the door shut. A solo by Saeed al Nuaimi is almost succesful. At the other end - in the dying seconds of the match - defenseman Mohammed al Dhaheri almost tips in a final shot by Song Chol Jon.

Topscorer Chun Rim Hong, with a stunning seven points on four goals and three assists, gets the nod for Man-of-the-Match for the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Omar al Shamisi, the main face off man for his team, gets the MOM award for the United Arab Emirates. And of course the national anthem of North Korea is played. The Emirates team consists of players who can skate, but playmaking ability is a rare commodity for the Arabs. Team effort is the main advantage of the North Korean team. They play very much a passing game. And are a top Division III team.