Bulgaria wins promotion to Division IIB

Bulgaria wins promotion to Division IIB

15 Apr 2014 | Markus Nisius

Bulgaria and North Korea went head to head for the promotion on the very last game day of the tournament in Luxembourg. Alexey Yotov and Ivan Hodulov topscorers of the tournament.


Over the last week the bottom part of the IIHF world rankings met in Luxembourg for the Division III tournament to determine which of the 6 teams may try their talents on a higher level next year. From the start Bulgaria and North Korea seemed to be the front runners for the promotion spot. On day 1 North Korea thrashed Georgia 22-1 while Bulgaria had a tougher night in their match against host Luxembourg. After Alexei Yotov scored 3 goals for Bulgaria, the Luxembourgish team came back and took over the lead with 5-4. But then Yotov’s team colleagues proved some scoring punch as well and won the game 8-5. The next game day showed North Korea had less problems with Luxembourg. Despite a good start with a couple of scoring chances for Luxembourg, North Korea established a 7-0 lead by the end of the second period. Luxembourg showed some character by coming back to a 3-7, however the tournament win was only a dream for them at this point, although they went on to win the last 3 games against UAE, Hongkong and Georgia. For Georgia the best game came on the very last day with a 1-6 loss against UAE. All other games were lost in double digits. The fight for place 4 was decided on day 1 when Hongkong won the only shootout of the tournament against UAE through a goal of Wong Yhy.

So the only open question was who wins the promotion and this decision should come on the last day of the tournament. North Korea had the better start, when Hong Chun Rim got the 1-0 for the guys from far east. But again Alexei Yotov and Ivan Hodulov secured the promotion with 2 goals each.

Both of them also won the scoring race of the tournament with 21 points each in 5 games.

The atmosphere in Luxembourg’s Kockelscheuer arena was explicit and the Luxembourgish fans kept being good hosts until the end and supported all teams.

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