Kazakhstan avoids relegation in shutout victory over Denmark

Kazakhstan avoids relegation in shutout victory over Denmark

Steven Ellis04 Jan 2019Steven Ellis»
 

Kazakhstan did something that very few teams have managed to do after earning promotion to the top World Junior tournament, starving off relegation to defeat Denmark 4-0 in the second relegation-round game in Vancouver, Canada.

 
 
 
 

Kazakhstan did something that very few teams have managed to do after earning promotion to the top World Junior tournament, starving off relegation to defeat Denmark 4-0 in the second relegation-round game in Vancouver, Canada.

With the loss, Denmark, who have stayed up in the top tournament since the 2015 World Juniors, will move to Division IA for 2020, joining Austria, Belarus, Latvia, Norway and Slovenia in the six-team event in December.

The Danes couldn't have asked for a worse start, allowing two goals on the first two shots of the game. Just 35 seconds into the game, Sayan Daniyar would hold on to the puck long enough to get past a Danish defenceman before dancing around Mads Søgaard, who was out of position. Daniyar would sweep the puck into the net after just passing over the goal line, giving Kazakhstan the 1-0 lead.

Then, at 4:47, Søgaard, one of the top goalie prospects for the 2019 NHL draft, saw his tournament end after Davyd Makutski would knock in a scoring chance created by Aidos Zhorabek, beating Søgaard glove side after a Danish player pushed the puck out to Makutski in the slot.

William Rørth would come in to replace Søgaard for the remainder of the game, which saw the Danes turn up the heat. Their first real scoring chance came halfway into the opening period when Emil Marcussen took a shot point-blank on Demid Yeremeyev, but the Kazakh netminder stood tall. He would have to be the team’s best player for the remainder of the game, as Denmark would pile on the scoring chances, only to have Yeremeyev turn them all away.

Neither team managed to create dangerous scoring chances in the final 55 minutes of play. In fact, Denmark had the only shot of the third period for 11 minutes before they eventually had two each with seven minutes to go. In the end, Kazakhstan did enough to keep the Danes off the scoreboard to sweep the relegation round, with two empty-net goals by Artur Gatiyatov keeping them in the top tournament for the first time since their consecutive appearances in 2008 and 2009 with an empty netter to seal the deal.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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