South Korea and Sweden are set for a gold-medal showdown at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool, after both teams won their fourth games of the tournament on Friday (20 March) to remain undefeated.
Heading into their final game, South Korea are now outscoring their opponents at the Championships, 43-1, following a 10-0 win over Great Britain in Ostersund, Sweden.
Seung-Hwan Jung, Young-Sung Kim and Jong-Kyung Lee each scored two goals in the game, while Dong-Jun Kim and Man-Gyun Yu split time manning the net, totaling four saves.
Jung, arguably the fastest forward in the world, has been the most dominant player of the Championships thus far, with his 13 goals totaling more than the entire British, Polish and Austrian teams’ goals combined.
Other scorers for South Korea in the game included: Ju-Seung Lee, Eui-Hyun Sin, Jihoon Lee and Dong-Shin Jang.
Great Britain had few lone bright spots, as Bryan Hackworth, who likes to model his game after NHL goaltending great Ed Belfour, recorded a save percentage of just 79 percent.
Host nation Sweden shut out Austria 8-0 thanks to five first-period goals, including two from five-time Paralympian Niklas Ingvarsson.
Rasmus Lundgren and Peter Ojala also found the net in the opening period, both scoring their third goals of the tournament, while Christian Hedberg tallied his first score of the Championships in his third season with the team.
Sweden kept up its quick pace throughout the rest of the game, with Ojala pushing the puck into the net again in the second, and Lundgren and Ingvarsson doing so again in the third.
Despite not scoring in the game, 21-year-old forward Per Kasperi had two assists and still leads Sweden with six goals and 10 points. He is second among all tournament players in goals.
Slovakia put themselves in bronze-medal position with a 4-1 victory over Poland to move to a 2-2 record at the Championships.
Marian Ligda proved to be the difference for the Slovakians, scoring the first two goals of the game at the 11:45 mark in the first period and the 24:29 mark in the second. The 35-year-old, who came from the sport of sit-skiing, now leads Slovakia with five goals and eight points at the Championships.
In a heavy swinging second period, after Ligda scored, Martin Joppa also found the net for Slovakia and veteran Sylwester Flis was able to put a point on the board for Poland.
Slovakia’s Erik Fojtik put the last tally on the board just 3:33 into the final frame, and Miroslav Pastucha recorded the win in net with 10 saves.
South Korea and Sweden will now battle for gold in the tournament’s final game on Saturday (21 March) at 19:00 in a matchup that will pit top scorers Jung and Kasperi against each other. Prior to that, Great Britain will face Poland at 12:00 and Austria will contest Slovakia at 15:30.
All games from this year’s World Championships B-Pool are being streamed live at sports.livearena.com.
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.