Ten months after the historic Para ice hockey Paralympic bronze medal in PyeongChang, South Korea met Italy again. This time on Italian ice, in the final of the Torino International Tournament. The result was another action-packed match and one more Korean victory in the end.
Jong Ho Jang and Lee Yong Min put the visitors 2-0 ahead in the second period. But in the third period Florian Planker reduced to the hosts and Italy pressured for the equaliser. A counter-attack in the last minute saw Lee Yong Min score the final goal in the 3-1 win.
Slovakia beat Norway 2-1 on overtime in Torino to take the bronze medal in the four-team competition which served as preparation for the World Championships in April in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
The team of the tournament had Italian goaltender Gabriele Araudo, Norwegian defenceman Audun Bakke and South Korean forward Lee Yong Min.
“We are satisfied with our performance even though we did not win. We had chances to equalise but we couldn’t make it and that’s how sport is. It was a starting point in our preparations for the World Championships and we had five new players, so there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Italian coach Massimo Da Rin.
The Torino International Tournament also paid tribute to former Italy Para ice hockey player Andrea Chiarotti, who died last year. Chiarotti was a three-time Paralympian and a pioneer of the Italian team.
“Back in 2005, it was him who brought me to Para ice hockey. Andrea was a dear person who could make everyone agree. It is great to be able to remember him and tell more about what he did,” Da Rin added.