The 2023 Suwon Women’s Ice Hockey 1B Division World Championships opened on the 17th at the ice rink at the Gwanggyo Complex Sports Center in Suwon. In the opening game in front of 1,400 spectators, Korea scored a thrilling theatrical goal against Italy and won 2-1.
This tournament, in which Korea, England, Italy, Poland, Kazakhstan, and Slovenia compete for promotion to a higher division or relegation to a lower division, is especially meaningful for Korean women’s ice hockey. This is because Korea is competing fiercely at home to see if Korea can be promoted to the 1A division (2nd division) for the first time in women’s ice hockey history.
Even compared to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and later world competitions, Korea played the game with better offensive power and skills, burning its will to promote. In particular, the super save of 21-year-old goalkeeper Heo Eun-bi (University of Connecticut) shone. Heo Eun-bi saved the game by blocking 39 out of 40 shots.토스카지노
Heo Eun-bi blocked, Kim Hee-won broke through.
The match between Korea and Italy took place after the opening ceremony that started at 7:00 pm. From the beginning of the game, Korea pressed Italy with strong offensive power and went in. However, the strong pressure was followed by a penalty. Korea had difficulties in the first period alone as three players were sent off for two minutes due to penalties, but the opponent did not concede a goal and finished the first period with a score of 0-0.
In the second period that followed, the first goal was for Korea. Lee Eun-ji scored the first goal by inserting the puck that Park Yoon-jung hit into the empty spot of the goal post. But Italy was not a place to stand still. The puck hit by Valentina Betarini shook the Korean net and brought the ball back into balance. Korea finished the second period 1-1.
In the third period, main goalie Heo Eun-bi’s super save shone. Heo Eun-bi threw herself into every difficult situation that occurred in the third period and made a super save by catching the puck with her hand. Korea was outnumbered in the 3rd period with three penalty outs, but Huh Eun-bi made a super save and allowed no additional runs during regular time.
The game went into overtime with the so-called “Golden Goal”. Because Italy awarded a penalty before the end of regular time, Korea was able to lead overtime with one more player. Extra time was tight as the game ended immediately if anyone scored within 5 minutes.
A little over one minute after the start of overtime. Kim Hee-won passed the puck he received to Lee Eun-ji, and Lee Eun-ji gave the puck back to Kim Hee-won, who stood in front of the goal. Kim Hee-Won threw a puck at the goalpost, aiming for a momentary gap, and the puck shook the goal as it passed through the goalie. It was the moment when South Korea defeated promotion candidate Italy.
Kim Hee-won played aggressively enough to record three penalty outs in the game that day. Being the protagonist of the last goal in such a difficult situation. The Korean players embraced each other and congratulated each other on winning the first match.
About 1,400 spectators gathered… ‘The largest number of spectators’ since PyeongChang
On the other hand, the match was held in the midst of a crowd of 1400 spectators. There were quite a few fans wearing uniforms of HL Anyang, which is based in Anyang, a short distance from Suwon, and a lot of parents with children playing ice hockey came to the stadium, making the stadium crowded.
The opening game on this day recorded the largest number of spectators in Korea since the PyeongChang Winter Olympics for a women’s ice hockey event. In particular, Suwon City and the Korea Ice Hockey Association worked hard on social media, online promotion, and on-site publicity ahead of the tournament, which was also the reason for the ‘full crowd’ record even in the bad conditions of Monday afternoon.
It was a different atmosphere from the ice hockey international competitions held in other regions such as Gangneung. The fact that there were not many spectator seats created an atmosphere where the spectators could come together and cheer. It was also positive that the audience responded to the response of the announcer on site and continued the heated atmosphere.
All seats were sold out, even though there was a handicap that about 116 paid seats were sold only on site. Paid seats provided with day passes, cheering tools, and refreshments were made with the theme of Korean national team players, adding a special touch. In such a heated atmosphere, the association officials were also surprised, saying, “I didn’t know so many people would come.”
“I hope this will serve as an opportunity to promote Korean women’s ice hockey”
National team coach Kim Do-yoon said, “I tried to score a little more and score, but it didn’t work out easily. There were a lot of penalties, so it was difficult.” I think I did well in the first game thanks to my good work. I will try to win the championship by solving the remaining games well.”
Regarding the visit of many spectators, coach Kim Do-yoon laughed, saying, “Women’s ice hockey has been in a slump since the Pyeongchang Olympics, and I want to use this world championship as an opportunity to publicize Korean women’s ice hockey.” Coach Kim said, “I will reduce penalty killing and prepare for scoring through conversation with the players,” and “I will prepare well and give fun to the audience.”
Kim Hee-won, who shook Italy’s net with a ‘theatrical goal’, said, “I was so happy to win against Italy, the most difficult match,” and laughed, “I had to score the last goal, but I felt even better because I won thanks to the help of my teammates.” . At the same time, Kim Hee-won said, “I was nervous because there were a lot of penalties, but it was fortunate that I could make up for it with a goal.”
Regarding preparation for the next game, Kim Hee-won said, “It is important to prepare for what we can do, rather than preparing for any team.” I want to do well in the game and get good results.”
Heo Eun-bi, who blocked 39 out of 40 shots on the day, was shocked to hear that, “Really?” When asked about the secret of the ‘super save’, Eunbi Huh said, “Rather than having any thoughts, I thought of blowing my body to block it for my team because it was a pre-marital situation.”
Heo Eun-bi said, “I have been playing with my sisters since 2017, but this is the first time I have been a starting player for an adult national team, so I was nervous.” I guess,” he laughed. Heo Eun-bi also threw a resolution, saying, “I will come forward with an ‘unbreakable heart’ in the remaining games.”
The Korean women’s ice hockey team, who had an ‘unforgettable night’ in their first game, will play against Poland at 7:15 pm on the 18th. The match against Poland will be broadcast on YouTube, etc., and anyone can enter for free.