Italian A-game takes them to Division A

Italian A-game takes them to Division A

16 Dec 2013 | Henrik Lundqvist

Five games, five wins. The Italian U20 team didn't come to Dumfries, Great Britain as favorites of the U20 World Championship Division I Group B. But they left as winners, and qualified for next year's Division I A.


Great Britain hosted the World Juniors Division I B December 9-15. Division I B is the third of the six levels of the World Junior Championship program. The Italian team finished on top with three wins in regulation and two in overtime, one point ahead of Kazakhstan.

"It has been a fantastic tournament with good teams and there were no easy times, but we made it and now we must prepare for the future", says Italian coach Robert Chizzali.

Indeed, it wasn't an easy tournament win for Italy. They were actually very close to losing the first game. Great Britain had a 3-2 lead for a long time but Joachim Ramoser tied it just 32 seconds before the end and then scored the winner in overtime to complete a hat trick.

They also had to work hard for the win against Japan, who finished last and faced relegation. Michele Marchetti scored the Italian winning 4-3 goal in the third period during a Japanese power play.

The key to the tournament win was of course the 4-3 win against Kazakhstan in the third game. Kazakhstan outshot Italy 40-21, but thanks to Martin Rabanser's 37 saves Italy got the win.

In the fourth game, Italy once again was close to lose it. Giovanni tied it against France at 55:20 and he also scores the overtime winner.

Italy needed a win against Ukraine in the last game to secure promotion. And they got it. They were down 2-1 after half the game, but managed to turn it to a 4-2 win.

Kazakhstan finished second of the tournament, France third and Ukraine fourth. The home team Great Britain avoided relegation thanks to a 4-2 win against Japan in the very last game of the tournament.

The battle of the scoring title was dominated by players of Kazakhstan. Nikita Mikhailis finished on top with six goals and five assists for eleven points. He was followed by team mates Yuri Sergienko (7+3), Kirill Savitski (3+7) and Semyon Koshelev (3+6).

Find complete player stats here.

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