A day after giving up a record 15 goals to South Korea, Poland came back fighting on Wednesday (18 March) at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool, cruising to a 3-0 win over Austria in Ostersund, Sweden.
Following a scoreless opening period, 40-year-old veteran Sylwester Flis scored twice for Poland in the second period in a span of less than seven minutes. Radoslaw Drapala – a national champion in sitting volleyball – increased Poland’s lead in the third with a goal assisted by both Sylwester Czyz and Flis.
Andrzej Mlynarczyk recorded the shutout for Poland between the pipes with six saves, while Austria’s Michael Ossimitz stopped 26 shots.
South Korea, meanwhile, continued their dominating ways at the Championships, defeating Slovakia, 9-1, with Seung-Hwan Jung having his second straight four-goal game.
Through three games, Jung is easily leading all players in the tournament with 11 goals, six assists and 17 points.
Chuncheon native Young-Jae Cho and Min-Su Han, nicknamed “Ice Tiger,” both had two goals apiece for South Korea in their win against Slovakia, with Byeong-Seok Cho adding another. Man-Gyun Yu only had to make two saves to garner the victory in front of the net.
Slovakia’s lone score of the game came at the end of the second period, when Marian Ligda found the net of passes from Martin Joppa and Peter Stit.
Host nation Sweden ended the day with a solid 6-2 victory over Great Britain, outshooting their opponents, 35-5.
After neither team could convert a score in the first period, Sweden’s Per Kasperi found the net exactly five minutes into the second, and just over a minute later, Niklas Ingvarsson powered the puck into the goal to make it 2-0 for the home team.
Later in the period, Sweden’s Maximilian Gyllsten – whose leg was just amputated two years ago after a car accident – scored his first goal of the Championships and Kasperi then netted his sixth. Matt Woollias tallied a point for the British squad with an assist credited to Matt Clarkson.
In the final frame, Peter Ojala and Ingvarsson both scored for Sweden, while British army veteran Tyler Christopher found the net for the visitors, making for his third goal in his last two games.
South Korea and Sweden remain the only undefeated teams at the Championships with 3-0 records, outscoring their opponents 33-1 and 19-4, respectively. Those two teams will not face each other until the final game of the round-robin style tournament on Saturday (21 March), which may potentially be the gold-medal matchup.
The teams will use Thursday (19 March) as a rest day before South Korea kick off play again on Friday (20 March) against Great Britain at 12:00 (CET). That matchup will be followed by Slovakia-Poland at 15:30 and Sweden-Austria at 19:00.
All games from this year’s World Championships B-Pool, which runs through 21 March, are being streamed live at sports.livearena.com. Live results are availabe on the official event website at ostersund2015.org.
The top two finishers from the B-Pool tournament will be promoted to the A-Pool for 2017, while the last place team will be relegated to a new C-Pool tournament next season.
In 2017, the top five finishers from the World Championships A-Pool will directly qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics. The bottom three teams from the A-Pool event and the top three teams from the B-Pool event will compete in a Qualification Tournament for PyeongChang 2018 that same year.