Another four games were played at the University Ice Hockey World Cup, hosted at Felcsík Ice Rink in Cârţa, and organised by the Szeklerland Ice Hockey Academy and Sapientia U23. The second day of the tournament, which featured eight nations, settled several important questions regarding the balance of power. For some, the semi-finals are a foregone conclusion, while for others, the decision will be up to the final round.
Another exhilarating day has ended at the World Cup of University Hockey, and the audience was treated to four exciting and thrilling matches. There was no shortage of spectators this time either, with an almost full house waiting to see the teams take to the ice for the USA – Hungary match starting at 16.30. In addition, the clash between Romania and the Czech Republic in the evening drew an even larger crowd to support the home team, which predominantly consists of players from the local area.
The first match of the day ended in a straightforward Slovak victory, as the squad building on the two strongest teams of the European University Hockey League managed to decide the fate of the three points in less than 20 minutes of gameplay. Despite the Slovak dominance, the game continued to be a spectacular one, with the Swedes breaking free of the pressure and converting a significant percentage of their chances. Some of the goals came after some rather impressive moves, so that those who watched remained captivated throughout the entirety of the game.
The Slovaks can look forward to the rest of the tournament from a comfortable position thanks to their victory.
The next match in Group B was between Canada and Poland. Both teams had started the tournament with defeats, so another slip-up was not an option. The Canadians suffered an overtime defeat against the host Romania, while the Poles were beaten by the Czechs by one goal.
The pressure to win was evident in the way the game unfolded. Although the Canadians were more dangerous and active, the Poles were also holding on and trying to keep up with their opponents. They managed to do so until about halfway through the match, and it wasn’t until around the 45th minute that Canada built a big enough lead to secure victory. Yet, the game remained eventful, as there was much less emphasis on defence, and the goals started to pour in in the final minutes.
The afternoon schedule started with the USA – Hungary match. Hungary held their own against the North Americans, who had put on a show of strength the day before. Taking the lead twice, the United States only managed to hold on for a one-goal victory in the very end.
Once again, the most anticipated game was left for the evening. The clash between Romania and the Czech Republic shaped up to be a good one, as both teams kicked off the tournament with a win. The first period of their showdown went accordingly. The home team went up by two, but the Czech squad equalised. However, after that, they had no answer to the consistent, fierce and effective hockey of the Romanian team.
With the group stage concluding on Sunday, every game will be of paramount importance in deciding who will be in the best position to continue.
Slovakia – Sweden 10-4
Scorers: Smolka, Kamzik, Stránsky, Drápál, Vereš, Sapár, Trenčan, Zemko, Párička, Novodomec, Brander, Wedjesjö, Albert, and Knutsson.
Poland – Canada 3-10
Scorers: Fortin (2), Thompson, Barley (2), DiGiulio, Fortin, Reeve, Sheldon, Carter, Najsarek, and Bezwinski (2).
United States of America – Hungary 3-2
Scorers: Simpson, Smith, Selman, Simon, and Antal.
Romania – Czech Republic 6-2
Scorers: Koppány Márton, Zalán Szőcs, Olivér Gecse (2), Csongor Kristó, Pál Horvát, Novak, and Cizek.