The RPC returned to the international podium for the first time in six years on Saturday (26 June), winning its third A-Pool bronze medal at the World Para Ice Hockey Championships with a victory over Paralympic bronze medallists South Korea.
Captain Dmitrii Lisov, one of the holdovers from the Sochi 2014 team that won Paralympic silver, led the RPC to a 7-0 win with four goals in the game.
“We are happy that after six years we have a big medal in the big tournament,” Lisov said.
Lisov scored twice in the opening period, first outskating a pair of South Korean defenders to find the net 5:40 into the game, and then three minutes later scoring off a pass from defenseman Dmitrii Galkin. It took less than three minutes into the second period for Lisov to complete a hat trick with another goal.
RPC built off its lead midway through the second when forward Igor Maletskiy picked up the puck at his own blue line and weaved his way to down the ice, handing it off to Vladimir Rychkov for a score.
With two seconds remaining in the period, Andrey Sokolov smashed the puck past South Korean goaltender Man-Gyun Yu – who was lying down trying to cover the entire net – to increase the RPC’s lead to five.
In the third period, Lisov captured his fourth score, a short-handed goal off a fancy feed from long-time teammate Evgenii Petrov, and Nikolai Terentev added an insurance goal with his tournament-leading ninth score.
Goaltender Andrei Kasatkin recorded his third tournament shutout for the RPC with 11 saves, while Yu and Hyuk-Jun Choi combined for 20 saves for South Korea.
“Of course we were planning to be in the final – and we almost did it – but we are also happy to have won bronze versus South Korea,” Sokolov said.
“Before Beijing, we will now look back at every mistake against Canada in the semi-finals, as at the Paralympic Games our goal will be the gold medal.”
It was the first time in six years that South Korea has missed the podium at the World Championships, but by finishing in the top five in Ostrava, both the RPC and South Korea booked their tickets to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, where they will be joined by Canada, USA and the Czech Republic. Additional teams will qualify at the Paralympic Qualification Tournament later this year.
Complete results and statistics from the World Para Ice Hockey Championships are available at the Ostrava 2021 microsite.