Korea beats Belarus in final worlds matchup

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Korea beats Belarus in final worlds matchup

Korea defeated Belarus 4-1 to close out the men’s hockey world championship in Kazakhstan on Sunday, an effort that was too little, too late in the team’s quest for promotion to the top competition.

Forward Shin Sang-hoon scored all four goals for Korea’s third win in five matches at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship Division I Group A tournament at Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

This is the second-highest level of the IIHF world championships, and the top two nations among six countries each year are promoted to the elite division for the following spring. Korea finished in third place with nine points, just one behind Belarus. Kazakhstan had 11 points before its finale against Hungary later Sunday.

Korea’s fate was already sealed on Saturday with the combination of its 2-1 loss to Lithuania and Kazakhstan’s 3-2 overtime win over Belarus.

Korea opened this year’s tournament with consecutive wins over Hungary and Slovenia, fueling hopes of a return to the top-tier competition. But they were dashed with two straight losses to Kazakhstan and to Lithuania.

Yet the team salvaged a measure of pride by winning the final game.

Artem Demkov opened the scoring for Belarus at 2:39 in the first period, and Shin tied things up 8:48 into the second period.

Shin broke the tie at 9:07 in the third period, scoring on his own rebound after tipping a point shot by Alex Plante. And about seven minutes later, Shin completed his hat trick to give the team a bit more breathing room.

Then, after Belarus pulled out its goalie Dmitri Milchakov for an extra attacker in the final moments, Shin scored into the empty net for his fourth of the game and a team-high sixth of the tournament.

At the other end, Korean goalie Matt Dalton made 29 saves.

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