World Championship Icehockey 2014 Division III - Georgia - Luxembourg 0-19 (2014-04-11)


Kockelscheuer. Luxembourg, Friday 11 April 2014. All players of Team Georgia hail from the domestic league. Most of them play their club icehockey with the Mimino Bakuriani side. The team is coached by Yevgen Alipov a former Ukrainian national team player. The domestic league only exists for a couple of years and less then five years ago Goergia became memger of IIHF. Team Georgia debuted at the World Championship level (when one doesn't consider a qualification tournament in autumn 2012). Team Luxembourg lost the services of Thierry Beran in the final preparatory match of the squad against and in Amnéville, France a week before the start of the World Championship. Thierry broke his pelvis and his right leg dislocated crashing against the boarding. In Luxembourg many a foreigner lives. Carlo Welter (father of Luxembourg National Team players Michel Welter and Benny Welter):"Only recently a law for double nationality became in force in Luxembourg. Several icehockey players who have been playing a long time in Luxembourg applied for the Luxembourg passport. Some passed, like Kevin Groenlund and Marcus Eriksson. But two failed the language test in which one is required to understand an speak a few words in Luxembourgish. Players who hail from the International School in Luxembourg, who have less contact with Luxembourgish speaking citizens. But for instance Kevin Groenlund did pass, he communicates in Luxembourgish with his teammates." Marco Holtzem (father of Luxembourg international Thierry Holtzem) looked back on the encounter with Bulgaria:"Deep in the match we were in front, but several dumb defence errors led our defeat. Unnecessary. Only one of my sons is on the squad: Thierry. In the final training of the 2011-2012 season he became seriously injured. This season he came back with IHC Beaufort. But he is not on top of his game, yet." But that was to be belied by Thierry's performance against this Georgian team. Gilles Mangen for Luxembourg and Kakha Ambrolava for Georgia started in goal. Young Belgian Referee Tim Tzirtziganis officiated the encounter. Five drummers spice up the atmosphere.

The very first attack on goal brings Benny Welter behind the goalline. He passes to defenceman Clement Waltener in the slot, who nets the puck at 0.22 for 0-1. Only a short moment later Robert Beran heads from rightwing position in to slot. He shoots and he scores, 0-2 after 1.09. After that I did not see him back on the ice. Thierry Holtzem replaced him on the forward line of Ben Houdremont and Benny Welter. And Thierry deflects a François Schons shot, which is grabbed by goaltender Kakha Ambrolava. Who, with a stick save, also denies Marcus Eriksson with his vilent shot on goal. But the same Eriksson passes cross ice to Georges Scheier on right wing. The goalie has progressed much to far from goal and Georges easily can net the puck for 0-3 (4.31). Seconds later Marcus Eriksson scores himself netting his second rebound after a Georges Scheier shot on goal, 0-4. The Luxembourg fans go crazy, their teams leads 0-4 within five minutes. After a minute of six the first Georgian attack. And Zaza Gongadze is almost succesful. But at the other end the bombardment of the Georgian goal continues. Ambrolava fends off two defklections by Eric Wambach. He also denies Sacha Backes on a solo effort. The same Sacha Backes is the first te receive a penalty. But his interference penalty does not lead to a Geirgia powerplay. Thierry Holtzem leads the attack and forces an icing provoked by the Georgian defence. From the blueline defenceman Gilles Biver shoots just wide. And with Team Luxembourg at full strength again Steven Minden works out the 0-5 (12.53). Then a double bang by Thierry Holtzem. First he scores on the rebound (0-6; 14.25) and after that 0-7 (14.39) on the following attack. With more than five minutes to go in the periode there is much time left for another marker. But Marcus Eriksson hits the cxross bar, defenceman Christophe Thiry shoots over the goal, as does Georges Scheier and Benny Welter's shots is turned into a rocket by Zaza Gongadze.

Benny Welter and Kevin Groenlund have also left for an early shower, and now the Ptrack Schon centers for Ben Houdremont and Thierry Holtzem. In his own end Clement Waltener passes the puck in front of his own net. However not at every spot the water has frozen. The pucks stops in front of Gocha Jeiranashvili. Gocha shoots, but Gilles Mangen saves. The referees deside to let all the water freeze before continuing the match. So after a minute or two play continues. The shelling of the Georgian goal continues. But Kakha denies Georges Scheier, Sacha Backes and Christophe Thiry. Meanwhile Luxembourg goaltender Gilles Mangen freezes and decides to do some exercises. On a nice give and go Ben Houdremont feeds center Patrick Schon, who puts the 0-8 (28.55) on the scoreboard. His example is sson followed by Marcus Erikksson, who scores on a vehement wrist shot into the top left corner of the cage, 0-9 (30.07). Coach Yevgen Alipov then replaces goaltender Ambrolava by Kontsantine Sanikidze. He is welcomed by Ben Houdremont (0-10 at 32.13), who sends the puck top shelf after a Clement Waltener pass from behind the goal. Georges Scheier fires from a sharp angle and scores 0-11 (33.13). An exclusion of captain Mikheil Davitashvili for delaying the game is the opportunity for Georges Scheier to score the first powerplay goal - and his personal third marker - sending the p[uck witrh a wrist shot into the top right corner (0-12 at 37.11). It is time for Thierry Holtzem to score his third personal goal on a low shot, 0-13 (39.42).

In the final period Luxembourg center Patrick Schon only needs 41 seconds to up the score to 0-14. A tip in on a François Schons shot. After a minute or three Georgia manages to cross the red line and Amiran Geperidze even gets a shot on goal, which is countered by the legguard of goalie Gilles Mangen. A onetimer of Marcus Eriksson means the 0-15 (45.10). Frederic Davidson's goal is nullified by Tim Tzirtziganis because of a crease fault. A screened shot between the legs of Mikheil Davitashvili surprises the goalie, 0-16 at 45.58. With Gocha Jeiranashvilli in the penalty box for tripping Gilles Mangen again has to do some excersises to keep warm. François Schons only hits the outside of the goalpost with his shot. A second penalty against Luxembourg. A high sticking offence by Georges Scheier. On the powerplay Team Georgia ices Zaza Gongadze, Gurami Archvadze, Giorgi Jangobegishvili, Gia Oganeziani and Davit Oganeziani. But no powerplay by Georgia. At the other end captain Ronny Scheier wrists a rebound home for 0-17 (49.49). On the same penalty Luxembiourg scores a second shorthanded goal. Steven Minden is credited for the marker (0-18 at 50.03). That leads to the return of netminder Kakha Ambrolava. On a rare Georgian attack Ronny Scheier pilvers the puck from Vakhtang Gogichasvili. Ambrolava keeps his cage clean until 59.09 when Steven Minden beats him low on the right side on a Steven Minden feed. With the final shot of the game Marcus Eriksson hits the goalpost. And the Luxembourg fans celebrate the walk over exuberant.

Rightfully so goaltender Kakha Ambrolava gets the nod for Man=of-the-match, while for Team Luxembourg Thierry Holtzem deservedly gets the same award.