Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic
FINAL Korea (4-1) – Slovenia (1-4)
Story of the Game:
Korea off to a quick start: Korea got off the mark within the 5 minutes mark in this game (their quickest goal in the tournament) when Han Soo Jin slotted home a pass across the front of goal from Park Jongah. GB hopes for gold, which were hanging by a pretty slim thread already, were put onto an even rockier footing.
Then it’s 2-0: And it was a lovely finish too as Choi Jiyeun sends a perfectly placed wrist-shot from the face-off dot to slide through a very small gap between keeper and post. GB hopes pretty much dead at this point. Korea outshot Slovenia 18-2 in total over the period.
Just one goal in the second: but that was enough to really put the game to bed. After another spell of intense pressure on the Slovenian net, Park Chaelin bangs the puck in at the back door.
Slovenia not giving up: They kept pushing and the line of Pren, Confidenti and Dukaric did look threatening but they were constantly closed down in the neutral zone or high in Korea’s zone by incredibly aggressive forechecking. It wasn’t that they didn’t have attacks, it was just that they couldn’t get shots away or the pressure from the Korean defence made them off-target.
Another superb Slovenian NM performance this one from 20 year old Ines Confidenti who simply shuts the door in the third, despite having 24 shots on her in the final period. Overall she saved 53/56 shots in the game (94.6%).
Korea win the game 3-0: It’s enough for them to secure Silver, give Poland the Gold and leave GB in this division for another year.
482 (or less) things we saw:
- Korea’s shooting – we’ve said it before but it’s not hard enough or accurate enough. They get lots of shots on net but too many are at the body of the keeper and not hard enough to give up big rebounds. They have to work on harder shots or at on least placing them into the edges of the goals. If their slight frame means that harder shots are not going to happen then they need to really work on accuracy and speed of release to make up for this.
- Korea’s work-rate in their defensive zone is unbelievable. The second the opposing team cross the line (and often before)there are two players instantly on the puck carrier. This is why as a team they have the lowest shots against them in the tournament by a very long way (83, compared to 120 from next lowest DPR Korea, GB for comparison allowed 131 and winners Poland 135)
- Slovenia are really not that far away from competing well at this level. They have two young (15 and 20) but strong netminders who will only improve at that age and a couple of very strong forwards (Pren and Confidenti) who are still young (24 and 18 respectively), they just need a few more players of this quality to start making an impact.
Best team won?: Yep. Korea are the real deal when it comes to passing and skating – when their shots start to match that they will be formidable.
482 Days Three Stars:
1st Star – Ines Confidenti
2nd Star – Choi Jiyeun
3rd Star – Park Jongah