NOVI SAD/SOFIA – Korea and Serbia are will play at Division I next year after winning the 2009 IIHF World Championship Division II tournaments.
Serbia is the surprise winner of Group A played at home in Novi Sad. The host was third-seeded and was short on equipment after a fire in the arena in March but won all games.
The key game was on opening day when Serbia beat Estonia, the top-ranked team at the event. The Estonians held 4-1 lead after two periods but goals from Marko Kovacevic and Bojan Jankovic, who each scored twice, tied the game and forced a shootout, which Serbia won.
The Serbs wen undefeated after the shootout win, defeating China (5-3), Israel (12-1), Iceland (6-1) and DPR Korea (12-2). Estonia also won its games, but had to settle with silver. China took bronze, Iceland and Israel followed in the ranking while DPR Korea is back to Division III after losing all games.Click here for scores and stats of Group A.
After last year’s relegation, Korea won Group B in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Koreans beat Spain (6-4), Mexico (8-2), Bulgaria (14-2), South Africa (15-0) and the key game against Belgium (5-2), which took silver.
Spain earned bronze while Bulgaria and Mexico were fourth and fifth, respectively. South Africa is relegated to Division III after losing all but one game by ten or more goals.
Defenceman Alexei Yotov, who plays minor league hockey in Russia for the Vityaz Chekhov organization, won the scoring title and was selected MVP of the tournament with his four goals and 13 assists.Click here for scores and stats of Group B.