Easy start for Ukraine
Easy start for Ukraine
Scores six to cruise past Romania
Three unanswered goals in the final frame by Viktor Zakharov, Olexander Pobyedinostsev and Artem Gnidenko saw Ukraine came out on top beating Romania 6-1. Vladyslav Gavryk had earlier netted twice in their comfortable opening day win.
"We came out a bit sloppy during our first game, we have a lot of guys who are playing their first World Championship, so some of the guys are a little bit nervous, but in the end we deserved to win and it was a good win for us to start the tournament," said Ukraine's Gavryk after a 6-1 victory at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Zagreb.
Yuri Petrangovsky's goal settled any Ukrainian opening day nerves as he combined with Gnidenko on a breakway and slipped his shot between the legs of Gellert Ruczuj at 5:10.
Gavryk added a second after 11:28, through on goal he waited Ruczuj to make the first move before a low backhand made it 2-0. Despite being in control of the game, Ukraine failed to find any fluency in their game thanks to amassing five minor penalties in the first frame. This helped Romania, last year's Division 2A winners, to get their hopes up when they after 16:18 capitalised while on powerplay. From the left faceoff circle, Robert Peter picked out Szabolcs Papp whose low shot rebounded with Peter reacting fastest to pull a goal back for 2-1.
With Ukraine head coach Olexander Savitsky calling for for his players to cut down on unneccesary penalties during the first intermission, the second period saw a far more disciplined Ukraine step out to outshot Romania 19-5, but the Romanians showed good resilience and continued to withstand pressure for long spells and when finally Ruczuj conceded the only goal of the period, Yegven Tymchenko had left Szilard Orban in his wake on a breakaway to serve Gavryk who netted his second after 27:54.
As the game wore Ukraine finally started to get reward for their hard graft. Giant Andri Mikhnov fed Pobyedinostsev for 4-1 at 42:24 and 1:39 later the puck was in Romania's net once again as Ruczuj spilled a shot from captain Viktor Zakharov for 5-1. Ukraine finished off proceedings with a shorthanded goal with Artem Bondariev surging down on a breakaway, and after Botond Flinta failed to clear his pass, Artem Gnidenko's wrister settle the score at 6-1 after 48:07.
"We knew of the qualities of Ukraine and we know that they are strong and fast," said Romania's Szabolcs Papp. "We tried to give them a match. think we did ok during two periods but I think they are the strongest team in the tournament," continued Papp who also found positives from the game ahead of their important game against Lithuania tomorrow.
"We had a few good scoring opportunities and also scored from powerplay. But we have only had little time to practise together ahead of the tournament, so we will get better and better," said Papp.
As for Ukraine, next up awaits Croatia with Gavryk promising improvements "Play a bit tougher D and use all of our scoring opportunities better, but overall we have to stay focused and keep going and get ready for next game," he said.
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