Both Hungary and Poland knew that this will be a must win game, as the winner would advance to the next round of Olympic Qualifying, which would most likely be in Latvia, icehockey.hu reports.
For the final and all deciding game of the tournament head coach Rich Chernomaz gave Miklós Rajna the start in net.
According to icehockey.hu, the game started out fast paced and hard fought as both teams were grinding it out. Both teams had a number of scoring chances in the first period and all through the second. In the opening minutes of the game istván Sofron skated in on the Polish goalie but he was stuffed, in the second András Benk picked up a loose puck in the Polish end but the opposing keeper stood tall. To make matters Balázs Gőz picked up an injury during the middle twenty minute period which left Hungary with five defencemen.
The icehockey.hu said, Chernomaz was forced to play János Vas on the backside as well, mostly paired with his brother Márton. The goalie battle continued deep into the third period as both goalies played outstanding. Hungary called timeout in the final 18 seconds set up the final play. After a scoreless five minute overtime period the game went to a shootout. Rajna saved one of the Polish shots but unfortunately Hungary missed all three of their scoring chances and Poland win 1-0 and advance to the next round.
Rich Chernomaz: I couldn’t have asked for more from my players, of course it hurts that this was how we lost. It is unfortunate that the Olympic Qualification round has to be decided in four game tournaments.
Jacek Plachta: It was a good feeling but it was a tough game we had chances and they had chances both teams had momentum and we are happy with the win. It really came down to the details and or goalie played great.
András Benk: The team did everything and I think we were the better team throughout the 60 minutes, they had the luck. I think we could have won the game during the 60 minutes.
Frank Banham: We knew it was going to be a hard game and it was similar to what we had in Krakow in April. We had the chances and both goalies played great, we were pretty nervous on the end.
István Bartalis: When Gőz got injured I moved to center and I think it worked out fine with János Vas in net. I got the wind knocked out of me on the ice but was fine, things like this happen.
Kóger, Sarauer, Sofron
Bartalis, Hári, Banham
Kovács, J.Vas, G.Nagy
Benk, K.Nagy, Galló/Vincze
Gőz, Pozsgai, M.Vas, Stipsicz, Mestyán, Kiss
THE HUNGARIAN SQUAD
Goalies (2): HETÉNYI Zoltán, RAJNA Miklós (Fehérvár AV19)
Defencemen (7): SZIRÁNYI Bence (Fehérvár AV19) KISS Dániel (UTE), MESTYÁN István, POZSGAI Tamás STIPSICZ Bence (MAC), GŐZ Balázs (DVTK) VAS Márton (Fassa, Seria A)
Forwards (13): BANHAM Frank, BARTALIS István, BENK András, KOVÁCS Csaba, KÓGER Dániel, NAGY Gergő, SARAUER Andrew, VINCZE Péter (Fehérvár AV19), NAGY Krisztián (MAC), SOFRON István (Klagenfürt, EBEL) HÁRI János (Leksand, Eliteserien), GALLÓ Vilmos (Linköpings SHL), VAS János (Slavia Praha, CZE2)
Head coach: Rich Chernomaz
Copy editor: bm