IIHF – First win for Estonia
Saturday’s night recreation was nearly sure to determine the relegation difficulty. If Serbia misplaced, it was doomed to complete backside of the desk and return to Division IIA, whence it received promotion in 2019. However a regulation time victory would assure survival no matter what Estonia might do towards Ukraine in its closing recreation tomorrow. Solely a Serbian additional time win might preserve the query alive in a single day.
Estonia, in the meantime, had its sights on higher rewards. After aggressive performances in defeat towards Poland and Japan, the Baltic state might nonetheless safe a second bronze medal in three championships if it received its two remaining video games.
That impressed a quick begin, with Vasjonkin opening the scoring after 93 seconds. The Polish-based ahead obtained his first of the match when he had the ultimate contact on Silver Kerna’s level shot. And it was 2-0 within the sixth minute as Kulintsev discovered the online. Having allowed 25 objectives in three earlier video games, Serbia was at risk of one other lopsided loss.
However this time there was a right away response. Estonia took a penalty and Djumic wanted 9 seconds to transform the ability play. That was his, and Serbia’s, third objective of the match. Estonia continued to have the higher of the play, however the groups had been separated by a solitary objective on the first intermission.
That partly explains why Rooba criticized his workforce’s “worst efficiency” of the match.
“To be sincere we performed a very dangerous recreation as a workforce,” he stated. “We had been nervous and we couldn’t actually deal with the strain as a result of we understood that the loser of this recreation goes to go down. I feel we weren’t at our greatest at present. However to win with a nasty recreation, that’s truly a very good factor.”
Halfway by the second interval, Estonia restored its two-goal cushion. Captain Rooba, whose hat-trick towards Japan got here in a dropping trigger, made it 3-1 when he collected Kulintsev’s move and superior down the left. Reducing into the centre he waited for a Serbian defenceman to commit himself earlier than capturing previous his fallen opponent.
That gave some reassurance, one thing sorely wanted on a roster that options 11 World Championship rookies. That inexperience goes a protracted solution to explaining how the workforce produced such contrasting performances in its first two encounters – cussed defence towards Poland, than a loopy 5-7 loss towards Japan.
“They had been two very completely different video games,” stated Rooba. “However we gave ourselves an opportunity to win in every of them. I feel they had been each higher than at present.
“We’ve not performed a very good 60 minutes but, and Sunday towards Ukraine must be the day. There isn’t any strain on us, we’re again on this group for subsequent 12 months and we now have to take the nice issues from all of the video games and consider in ourselves.”
Early within the third interval, Estonia prolonged its lead. Serbia struggled to clear its traces after repeated waves of offence, and ultimately Parras exacted punishment when he picked up a unfastened puck in centre ice and superior to shoot previous Arsenije Rankovic.
The sport was settled and Estonia got here near including a fifth when Robert Arrak hit the bar on an influence play within the closing levels. Nonetheless, the final phrases went to Serbia. First Djukic when he obtained a second objective within the closing minutes, then he had a penalty shot 25 seconds earlier than the hooter, however was unable to beat Villem-Henrik Koitmaa for a 3rd time.
Regardless of returning to Division IIA, Serbia’s captain Nemanja Vucurevic felt that there have been good issues to take from the week.
“We’re a younger workforce so it is particularly vital that guys get to really feel this degree and compete right here,” he stated. “We confirmed some good play, possibly even higher than we thought we might, but it surely’s not sufficient and we weren’t constant.”
With the pre-tournament camp restricted to simply 10 days, and several other key gamers compelled into quarantine throughout that point, preparations had been removed from best. However Vucurevic hopes to see the workforce bounce again quick.
“We now have to stay collectively. This can be a younger workforce and we now have a terrific environment,” he stated. “That is a optimistic, it provides us encouragement for the long run. We are able to stick collectively, stick with our plans however we additionally should be sincere and say that we now have to be higher to remain at this degree.
“I hope we will come again right here as quickly as potential and be higher.”
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