Croatian U20 earns promotion

Division II tournament in Spain decided after four games


Croatia’s Borna Rendulic in the 5-4 win over host Spain. Photo: FEDH/Alberto Montenegro

LOGROÑO, Spain – Croatia won the 2009 IIHF World U20 Championship Division II Group B in Logroño after defeating their four straight opponents.

Croatia, which finished in third last season, won its four first games and the only opponent left is China, which is winless already relegated to Division III.

Croatia shocked Great Britain, which came from Division I, on the first day with a 3-2 win after leading 3-0. The next day, the Croats had another thriller against the Netherlands. The Dutch led 3-2 midway through the game but Croatia turned the game around to earn a 4-3 victory.

Up to 750 fans watched the Spanish team, which had the potential to challenge the Croats, but the leader staged another come-from-behind win, 5-4. After a 10-2 win against Mexico the team sealed promotion to Division I before its last game against China.

Great Britain and the Netherlands will play for silver and bronze, while the tournament closes with the Spain vs. Mexico game, a clash for the fourth place.

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