The Baltic Battle

IIHF World Championship Division IB Lithuania - Estonia 6-1 (2015-04-16)

In the line up for Lithuania Egidijus Bauba. Whom we have missed on the international level for some years now. Missing was Tadas Kumeliauskas. The young player who impressed at the previous World Championship in The Netherlands. During the season he got a concussion. Therefor he was out for the season for both his Finnish Team TPS Turku as well as Team Lithuania. NHL star (New Jersey Devils) had to forfeit for personal reasons. While young Daniel Bogdziul, who first became the star of the U18 IIHF World Championship in 2012 and two weeks later joined the senior squad, has advanced to a firstliner. Estonia is quarterbacked by defenseman Lauri Lahesalu, who plays in the French Ligue Magnus for Angers, and forward Andrei Makrov, who played in Kazakhstan this season.Armalis Mantas started for Lithuania in goal, while Estonia put Roman Shumikhin between the pipes.

Edgar Rybakov wins the first face off for Lithuania. Donatas Kumeliauskas shoots over the net. While on the first serious attack of Estonia the goal comes from its moorings. Leading to a lenghty repair. Then Dovydas Kulevicius struggles himself through the defense. A trailer pass to Aivaras Bendzius who puts the puck into the top left corner. 1-0 after 4.58. Mostly the traffic was on to the Estonian net. But occasionally Estonia broke free. Quite often Roman Andrejev was involved in these attacks. Then German coach's team Lithuania is caught icing six skaters. And Estonia - ion the persons of Vassili Titarenko and Lauri Lahesalu - pushed for the equilizer. But goalie Mantas stood tall. After the penalty kill Lithuania is all over Estonia. But Shumihkin denies Bauba, Kumeliauskas, Rolandas Aliukonis, Bogdziul and Kulevicius. Kumeliauskas is sent flying by Ilja Urushev. Which "earns" the latter a kneeing call. And Darius Pliskauskas says: Thank you. He bangs home a diagonal pass from Nerijus Aliskauskas.

In the second period Estonian firstliner Robert Rooba shoot s the puck over the cage. And then all traffic is again on the North Baltic net. But a pass from left by Roman Andrejev gets to Aleksei Sibirtsev on right and Aleksei hammers the puck home for 2-1 (25.16). Much action on the ice follows. But neither pressing nor effective. The level of play dwindles. And no more scoring in this intermediate period.

Much more action and fun in the final stanza. Mostly due to the uplifted Lithuanians. A shot from the blueline. A rebound by Shumikhin. And Aivaras Bendzius backhands the puck into the net. 3-1 at 43.30. Ilja Urushev hookes Donatas Kumeliauskas and gets penalised. With a fantastic onetimer defenseman Mindaugas Kieras jets the puck against the netting (4-1; 49.26). Time for a Time Out thinks Estonian coach Jussi Tupamäki. And this leads to sevral promising attacks by his team. With Arturas Visockas coach Tupamäki pulls his goaltender for an extra skater. First Darius Pliskauskas just misses the empty net. But at 53.29 Danielius Nomanovas easily marks the 5-1. And after 2 minutes 20 seconds Shumikhin reestablishes himself in the net. And Lithuania rounds off the scoring when Darius Pliskauskas luckily gets the rebound on his own shot and beats the goalie low on the right side. And at 56.46 it is a 6-1 game. Eleven seconds before the final buzzer Ugnius Cizas is ordered to the penalty box for delaying the game. And again Shumikhin is pulled. But the score remained 6-1 in favour of Team Lithuania. A well deserved win. In this shape it is all hands on deck for Estonia to avoid relegation. Most valuable player for Lithuania: Aivaras Bendzius. For Estionia: Roman Andrejev.