KOREA UPSETS RUSSIA TO CLAIM BRONZE WITH FIRST-EVER WSHC WIN
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Min-Su Han paced the offence with a goal and an assist as Korea upset Russia 4-2 in the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon, earning its first-ever win at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
The Koreans were a combined 0-for-14 in their first three appearances before Saturday, including three losses to the Russians, but finally broke through thanks to power-play success and solid goaltending.
Han and Young-Jae Cho converted with the man advantage to give Korea a 2-0 lead through two periods, and 41-year-old Man-Gyun Yu stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced to record the victory in the Korean goal.
Nikolai Terentev scored both goals for the Russians, who failed to win a medal for the first time in three appearances at the tournament; it won bronze in 2013 before taking silver last year.
Han got the scoring started 6:05 into the first period, snapping a shot from the hashmarks past Russian goaltender Evgenii Plotnikov on the power play, and he set up Cho’s power-play goal from the point just shy of the 11-minute mark of the second.
Cho’s goal meant the end of the afternoon for Plotnikov, who was replaced by Mikhail Ivanov after allowing two goals on nine shots.
Ju-Seung Lee finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play at 5:09 of the third period to make it 3-0, roofing a shot past Ivanov, but Terentev scored his first just 28 seconds later to get Russia back within two, stripping the puck off a Korean defenceman and beating Yu.
Seung-Hwan Jung picked the top corner on a breakaway at 6:50 to give Korea a 4-1 lead, before Terentev capped the scoring with 3:51 left, redirecting a point shot from Dmitriy Lisov on a Russian power play.
The four goals are the most Korea has ever scored in a World Sledge Hockey Challenge game; it entered with just 11 goals total in its first 14 losses.
It’s just the second time the fourth-place team from the preliminary round has won a medal; the Koreans join Norway, who took home third place from the 2009 tournament in Charlottetown, P.E.I..