Looking forward to Days 4&5: 2008 IHWC Div I B in Sapporo
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 18日 Friday
Day 5 Games
Lithuania vs Croatia
Japan vs Estonia
Ukraine vs Hungary
Match day 4 provides 2 crucial games. Lithuania will have to start showing some signs of life against Estonia, otherwise they’re in real danger of dropping down to Division II next year. And Japan has to beat Ukraine by 2 or more goals to retain any hope of winning this tournament and advancing to the top division. I’m sure the motivated Hungarians will have no problems dispatching the Croatian team.
Day 5 features the most likely “finals” of this tournament with Ukraine vs Hungary fighting to win it all and get promoted. Hungary’s Janos Vas (AHL Iowa Stars) joined the team before the Japan game on Wednesday, so he should be better adjusted to the time zone and Japan by the final day of the tournament (he only recorded 3 shots on net in the Japan game). Ukraine is still the heavy favourites though. It’s as if the Japanese organizers and the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation scheduled this game knowing that it will be the de facto “finals”. Very strange move if you’re the host country, you should be doing the most, including scheduling, to win the tournament. What is home ice advantage for after all? The potential relegation battle between Lithuania and Croatia could be interesting, and depending on how Japan did against Ukraine the night before, their match against Estonia will be a must win.