Kazakhstan’s national hockey team has made a confident start in the first division of the world championships in Krakow, Poland. In their first two games in Group A, Kazakhstan convincingly beat the national teams of Ukraine and Hungary, 5-2 and 5-0, respectively.
The Kazakhs controlled both of their first games, which strongly resembled each other. The only difference was that in the first game, Kazakhstan allowed their opponents to score twice in the last minute of the match.
Kevin Dallman scored the first goal for Kazakhstan at the tournament.
“Our opponent could not create big problems for us, but still, we have to play better,” said Andrey Shayan, assistant to the head coach of Kazakhstan’s team, after the first game. In his words, the trio of Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev, Konstantin Savenkov and Evgeni Rymarev played successfully in the team’s first effort.
In the second game, Kazakhstan, as if remembering their disappointing defeat two years ago at the hands of the Hungarian team, came to the game focused and seemingly playing according to the idea that the best defence is to attack.
In the first two periods, the Kazakh team significantly outperformed its opponents in speed and had the Hungarians locked tightly in their own area, as evidenced by the 4-0 score and the three-to-one ratio of shots on goal in Kazakhstan’s favour (19-7). In the third period, Kazakhstan scored again, bringing the final score to a decisive 5-0.
As this edition goes to print, the outcome of Kazakhstan’s third game against Japan will be decided. Following that, the team will play two more group games, against Poland and Italy.
In the previous hockey championship held in Minsk, our players dropped out of the elite division, having lost all their games. In the current tournament, Kazakhstan must reach at least second place to return to the world elite group.