Ukraine beats Poland in shootout in ice hockey Olympic qualifier

Warsaw, Feb 10 (IANS) Ukraine men’s ice hockey team beat Poland 3-2 in a shootout in the Olympic pre-qualifying tournament in Sosnowiec on Friday evening.

The team coached by Robert Kalaber could have had a dream start, but Bogdan Dyachenko saved Pawel Dronia’s effort. However, Poland didn’t slow the pace and they scored an opener at 7:15 of the first period through Kamil Gorny’s shot from the blue line.

Kalaber’s players continued their attack while failing to double the lead before the break.

The visitors responded at 2:22 of the second period as Denis Borodai made it 1-1 with an effective shot from distance. Poland retook the lead with 13:45 on the clock after a fast attack finished by Marcin Kolusz, reported Xinhua.

However, Ukraine leveled the score again as Yevgenii Ratushnyi surprised the Polish goalie at 3:43 in the third period. The visitors were determined to find a winner, but Maciej Miarka denied Andrei Deniskin with three minutes remaining.

Both teams didn’t find the net in extra time. In the shootout, Ilya Korenchuk and Olexei Vorona beat the goalkeeper to lead the visitors to a massive victory.

Dmitry Khrystych’s team is just one step from advancing into the next round of the Olympic qualifications. After two games, they sit at the top of Group J with five points, one more than Poland.

Ukraine will play against Estonia, while South Korea faces Poland on Sunday, the final day of the tournament.

–IANS


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