CONTACT: Jon Lundin, Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Head of Communications & Media ([email protected]) Tel:518-637-6885

By: Dave Nelson

Korea ties game at 4 in waning seconds; Kuba scores hattrick in hard-fought loss

POTSDAM, N.Y. — Team Korea beat Team Slovakia in a shootout after a gritty performance at Cheel Arena on Wednesday afternoon, coming from behind late and sending the game to overtime.

Korean defenseman, Jin You was so proud of his teams effort: “We’re so excited to beat Slovakia. We never practiced three-on-three. We were just trying to get to the shootout.”

With just 3.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Korea evened the score after Minwan Kang won a battle behind the Slovakian net and put the puck in a dangerous area out front. As time dwindled, a scramble ensued; Jinhyuk Mun got a strong backhand on the puck, tying the score at four.

Slovakia had gone ahead late in the third on a power play goal by Lukas Kuba, who had a hattrick on the night. Outshot by a wide margin, Korea managed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities and control the scoreboard for much of the game, if not the play.

Korea opened the scoring with a goal at 4:04 of the first. On an odd-man rush, forward Minwan Kang pulled up and shot from the high slot. Slovakian goaltender Michal Vojvoda made the save, but the rebound went to Korean forward Jaesuk Kim, who used some fancy footwork to put the puck on his stick and slide it past an outstretched Vojvoda.

A penalty to Slovakian forward Tomas Balat resulted in a Korean power play. During the penalty kill, Slovakia had a good shorthanded scoring chance, with forward Richard Petras attempting to bury the rebound. However, his repeated hacks at the puck were a bit too strong, and he was called for slashing the goaltender, resulting in a 58-second five-on-three for Korea. Slovakia killed off the first penalty, but at 17:48, forward Minwan Kang scored a power-play goal from the left circle after receiving a nice cross-ice pass from forward Jinhyuk Mun, to end the period at 2-0 in favor of Korea.

Team Slovakia turned the tide in the second period. At 5:20, Slovakian forward Adam Stacho stole the puck on a forecheck and scored on a contested wrister from the short side, closing the gap at 2-1 in favor of Korea. A minute and a half later, Slovakian forward Lukas Kuba split the defense and put a puck top shelf to knot the score at two goals apiece, causing Team Korea to take their time out.

Sloppy passing in the Korean end led to a turnover in the low slot and a great scoring chance for Slovakia as a forward whistled a shot high over the net from close range. Slovakia continued to pour it on but were unable to light the lamp. On one such play, Lukas Urbanek tipped a slapper from defenseman Denis Bakala, causing the puck to sail off the crossbar.

End-to-end action in the third resulted in great scoring chances in both directions. Slovakia hit two crossbars within about a minute midway through the period. Slovakian goalie Vojvoda stopped Minhyeok Cho on a breakaway with an extended leg pad save. Later, he got enough of a wrister from Hyuk Kwon to maintain the tie score.

Korea went ahead with less than five minutes to play when Hyosuk Kim scored off a nice cross-ice pass from linemate Hyun Jin Jeong. Less than 30 seconds later, Kuba corralled a bouncing puck and slid it past Korean goaltender Yoosung Bae, tying the game at three apiece.

Slovakia went ahead 4-3 with a power play goal at 18:40 of the third period. Forward Adam Stacho created space with nice stickhandling moves, then passed to Kuba, who scored from short range, giving Slovakia the appearance of a winning goal with just over a minute to play.

But Team Korea was not to be denied. They pulled their goalie at 19:21 in favor of an extra attacker, which gave them the spark needed to tie the game with just seconds left and send it to overtime.

No goals were scored in the 5-minute, three-on-three overtime period. Korea had the best chance after a nice couple of passes between forwards Hyung Jin Jeong and Hyosuk Kim, but the overtime period ended with the score remaining 4-4. Korea Asst Coach, Wooyoung Kim, said they had not had any time to practice 3 on 3 overtime and wanted to make sure they took care of the puck in the overtime.

It took five rounds, but Team Korea won the shootout 3-2, when Hyun Jin Jeong scored on a shot off the inside of the post to the Slovakian goalie’s glove side.

Slovakia’s Michal Vovoda had 28 saves in the game, while Korea’s Yoosung Bae notched 49.

Korea next plays host to Great Britain at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday at SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall. Slovakia ends their 2023 FISU run at three wins and two losses.

The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games is an 11-day competition and educational festival that features 1,443 collegiate-athletes, ages 17-25, from 595 universities across 43 countries. The competition consists of 12 winter sports and 86 medal events contested throughout northern New York, including Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Wilmington, North Creek, Canton and Potsdam.

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