International Ice Hockey Federation

Belarus wins finale

Belarus wins finale

Belarus dresses only 17, beats Norway, 4-3

Published 16.05.2017 14:56 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Belarus wins finale
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 16: Norway's Mathis Olimb #46 and Belarus's Ilya Shinkevich #8 race for the puck during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Belarus blew two leads but rallied with two late goals to win the team's final game of the 2017 World Championships, 4-3.

"It was tough," said Belarus forward Charles Linglet. "We’ll take the wins. We feel a little better about ourselves, I guess. At the same time, for the next few tournaments for the boys, we’re going to have to look back at this and we have some improvements to do. We have to be more ready for the get-go. We can’t afford to not show up like we did this time in the first four games."

The win gives the team seven points and means both it and Norway will finish somewhere between 9th and 14th place.

Belarus finishes in 7th place in Group B with a record of 2-0-1-4 and Norway sits in 6th with a 2-0-2-3 record.

Today's win was secured with late goals from Ilya Shinkevich and Yevgeni Lisovets, his second of the game.

The win came even though Belarus coach Dave Lewis had only 17 skaters in the lineup. Goalie Kevin Lalande was given the night off, but Vladimir Denisov, Danila Karaban, and Roman Graborenko were all out with injuries. As well, the Kostitsyn brothers didn't dress.

There was not a lot of action in today's opening period, perhaps because the game had little bearing on the advancement of the tournament. Norway was clearly the more interested team early on, though, and had two good chances to open the scoring in the first period.

Mathis Olimb made a good deflection in front, but Mikhail Karnaukhov got a pad on the tip. Soon after, Patrick Thoresen and Aleksander Reichenberg had a good give-and-go in close, but again they were bested by the Karnaukhov.

Belarus got their legs in the second and got the first goal off a bad error by goalie Lars Haugen behind his goal. He came out to play the puck but fanned on his shot, allowing Lisovets to swipe it into the empty net before Haugen could recover.

Norway got back into the game late in the period. Although it didn't capitalize on a two-man advantage for 34 seconds, it tied the game as the second Belarus penalty expired. The goal came thanks to a screen shot from the high slot from Daniel Sorvik that beat Karnaukhov over the shoulder.

"It was a power play and the forward did a good job," Sorvik offered. "He took a forward with him and dropped the puck to me, and I just closed my eyes, shot, and hoped I scored."

Alexander Kulakov gave the Belorussians their second lead at 17:52. Norway failed to clear the zone, and Kulakov wired a shot under the glove of Haugen to make it 2-1.

It didn't take long, though, for Norway to equalize again. Just 1:19 into the third, Reichenburg got the puck in the Belarus end and walked out front unmolested, beating Karnaukhov with a shot to the short side.

Captain Jonas Holos gave the Norwegians their first lead just two minutes later, converting a great pass from the corner after a series of quick passes left the Belarus defence scrambling.

But just when it looked like Norway has gotten into a winning rhythm, Belsrus struck at 14:06 with the tying goal (Shinkevich) and again at 16:56 (Lisovets) with the winner.

"Very disappointing, obviously," said Norwegian forward Patrick Thoresen. "We had a chance to squeeze into ninth place in the tournament, which was a goal for us after we lost our quarter-final chances yesterday against Canada. So, it’s disappointing how we played. I know Belarus is a good team, but at the same time, we were playing for something, and they weren’t. We kind of came down to their level. We were losing too many pucks and giving away too much in the defensive zone. It was disappointing to see our performance today."


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