Slovenia made a fast start, opening the scoring after 90 seconds. Kazakhstan drew level on a power play goal late in the first period when Nikita Mikhailis found the net.
Early in the second, Anze Kuralt’s second of the evening restored Slovenia’s lead, but history repeated itself with another power play goal for Kazakhstan tying the scores late in the session. Batyrlan Muratov was the scorer this time with his first World Championship goal.
In the third, Amur’s Jan Drozg put Slovenia up once again, but Kazakhstan continued to have the better of the game. Evgeny Rymarev tied it up midway through the frame before Maxim Mukhahmetov potted the winner in the 57th minute. Kazakhstan finishes with seven points and could take sixth place in Group B if Norway loses to Slovakia tomorrow.
“We played pretty solid, I think,” Kazakh forward Tamirlan Gaitimirov told IIHF.com. “We’re the youngest and least experienced team here. Lots of first-time experiences here and we managed to stay in it. We’ll grow from this and next year, we’ll see what we can do.”
In Group B’s other game, Norway pulled off a surprise with a shoot-out win over Canada. It was only the second Norwegian victory over the North American giants. It might have been even better. Norway led with 12 seconds to play in regulation, but Lawson Crouse snapped home a late leveller to take the game to a shoot-out.
In Group A, Austria edged a shoot-out verdict against Hungary to secure its World Championship survival. It’s the second time in two tournaments that the Austrians stayed up by winning their final game and, just last one year ago, they had to rally from 1-3 to save themselves. This time, a 3-3 tie led to a shoot-out, in which goalie Bernhard Starkbaum stopped all four Hungarian efforts. Manuel Ganahl and Dominique Heinrich scored at the other end to gave Austria the verdict.
Sweden is still undefeated after downing Denmark 4-1. Nicklas Jensen, once of Jokerit, gave Denmark an early lead – only the third goal Sweden has allowed in six games here – but that was as good as it got for the Danes. Dennis Everberg and Andre Petersson turned it around for the Tre Kronor. Lucas Raymond and Carl Grundstrom completed the scoring.
The Swedes can take first place in Group A with a win over the USA tomorrow.
Main photo: Eurasia Sport Images / Getty Sport / GettyImages.ru