Iceland beats Mexico in a thriller to win promotion

Iceland beats Mexico in a thriller to win promotion

20 Mar 2011 | Henrik Lundqvist

Iceland wins promotion from the World U18 Championship Div. III in Mexico after beating the hosts 4-3 in a shootout game.

Before the last game of the IIHF World U18 Championship Div. III Group B in Mexico both Iclenad and the hosting Mexicans had 9 points after wins against South Africa, Israel and Ireland. The winner of this game would win promotion to Division II.

Iceland got an early power play and Sigurdur Reynisson scored 1-0 after 2:52. At 7:23 Björn Sigurdarson gave Iceland a 2-0 lead but Mexico's Jean Antonio Cobo replied a minute later. Iceland regained the 2-goal lead at 13:29 when Falur Gudnason scored.

Miguel Colas scored twice for the hosts early in the second period to tie the game at 3. Then followed 40 minutes of no goals at all and the game was going to be decided in a shoot-out. Iceland started with Johann Leifsson but his shot was saved by Allan Cukier. Colas took the first Mexican shot but missed the target. Björn Sigurdarson lost the puck during his attempt. Bjarki Orrason in Iceland's net saved Mexico's second shot by Alejandro Raya. In the third round Falur Gudnason finally scored and Iceland took a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Diego Linareshad to score before the 1900 home fans, but he failed. Orrason saved and Iceland won the Championship.

1 Iceland
Iceland won all four games with 52 goals scored and only 5 allowed. Falur Gudnason was the hero in the last game with 2 goals but the top scorer of the team and the tournament was Björn Sigurdarson who scored 9 goals and 6 assists. Ingolfur Eliason was named Best Defenseman of the tournament. Special teams was a key to the success. Iceland had the best power play (28%) and penalty killing (100%!).

2 Mexico
Of course the loss in the last game was very disappointing to the home team. The tournament had many visitors for an U18 Championship. More than 1000 people in average visited the home team's games. Diego Linares was the best attacker of the team with 8 goals and 2 assists. He was also named Best Forward of the tournament.

3 South Africa
South Africa grapped the third place after a 3-2 victory against Israel on the last day. Luke Carelse got the important game-winner in the third period. The best scorer of the team during the entire championship was Uthman Samaai who got 5 goals and as many assists. Jack Nebe was named Best Goalkeeper of the tournament.

4 Israel
Israel finished fourth after only one win; 12-2 against Ireland. The team was lead by Idan Fireman (3+6), Yanir Levy (2+6) and Daniel Golodnizky (4+3).

5 Ireland
Ireland was not close to any of the other teams. Four big losses: 1-13, 0-12, 0-22 and 2-12. Rian Larkin scored two of the Irish goals. Jonathan Stewardson got the third.

GROUP: Mexico City, Mexico

# Club G W W-OT D L-OT L Score P
1 Iceland 4 3 1 0 0 0 52:5 11
2 Mexico 4 3 0 0 1 0 30:8 10
3 South Africa 4 2 0 0 0 2 19:25 6
4 Israel 4 1 0 0 0 3 17:24 3
5 Ireland 4 0 0 0 0 4 3:59 0

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