Estonia win battle of Baltics to san some pride

Estonia win battle of Baltics to san some pride

14 Feb 2016 | Luke Fisher
 

In a game where the two sides only had pride to play for, Estonia notched a 4-1 win over Lithuania to get their first win in the Olympic Qualifying stage in Budapest.

 
 
 
 

It was Estonia who started the brighter, and almost shocked their Baltic neighbours in the opening phases. Just 43s were on the board when new Telford Tigers' signing Andrei Makrov gave Estonia the lead . It got better for the team in white just under two minutes later - with Domantas Cypas off for Hooking, Filipp Shvarogin's slapshot found a way past Mantas Airmails and into the net to put Estonia 2-0 up. Lithuania wasted a couple of powerplay chances as they grew into the game, before Estonia's Deniss Konyshev took a bad fall and would have to leave the game for a while. Lithuania finally got their breakthrough on the man advantage - Arturas Katulis' slapshot being saved but rebounding kindly for Danielius Nomanovas to tap home the rebound at 13:24. Makrov had a chance to re-establish Estonia's two-goal cushion as the period wound down, but Armalis stood firm to keep it at 2-1. However Estonia would not be denied extending their lead before the break, Jaanus Sorokin's shot was saved, but again the rebound fell kindly and this time Konyshev, back on the ice, fired home at 15:56 for 3-1.

The middle session was goalless nut not short of chances, especially for Lithuania who wasted no less than four powerplay opportunities. Ilja Cetvertak hit the crossbar on one of them , while Mindy Kieras found no way past Koitmaa in the Estonian net with his slapshot. Arguably the best chance of the period fell to Dovydas Kulevicius, who somehow ended up clear on a breakaway with his side on the powerplay, but he fired a blank and the period ended with no change in the score.

Estonia started the final period by killing off a carried over penalty, and then got on a PP of their own - and they made no mistake in using it. Aleksandr Petrov's perfect pass gave Makrov the ideal angle for a slapshot which flew past Armalis to put his side 4-1 ahead with less then four minutes played in the third. Lithuania had a couple of half chances to get themselves back in the game, but each time Koitmaa said no. The final good chance of the game fell to Makrov, but this time he could only fire way over despite being clean through. Estonia too a 4-1 victory, while Lithuania finish the group stage with no points.

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