Team Belgium U18M opens IIHF Worlds with Victory against Host Turkey Team Belgium U18M opens IIHF Worlds with Victory against Host Turkey

ISTANBUL - Today, March 4, the Men's U18 team starts its World Championship campaign in Istanbul, Turkey. After relegation last year, the team will participate in DIV3A. Opponents besides host country Turkey are Mexico, Iceland, New Zealand, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Today our boys faced off against host country Turkey. 

In the first half of the first period both teams test each other, but in the eighth minute the Belgians take the lead through a first goal via Van Bruyssel (#19/BEL) assisted by Laeremans (#18/BEL) and Delport (#16/BEL). The euphoria is short-lived, however, as the Turks respond within the minute with a counter-goal.

Barely in the second minute of the second period, the home team manages to take the lead. Midway through the period, Delport (#22/BEL) brings the score back to even via a solo action. And then the Belgians get an outside chance to widen the gap. A tripping by Arslanoglu (#24/TUR) results in a penalty shot, but Blanchy (#2/BEL) can't cash it. Just before the end of the second period, Geenen (#21/BEL) manages through Schoovaerts (#12/BEL) and Gregory (#8/BEL) to put the three on the scoreboard. However, in the final seconds of the period, Ruth (#5/BEL) is sent to the sinbin to sit out a tripping penalty. The Turks take full advantage of the power play and Karadag (#10/TUR) inexorably pops the puck into the Belgian nets, again the score is tied.

Hardly a minute into the third period, Artis (#13/TUR) enters the penalty box for hooking. Blanchy (#2/BEL) tips in on the rebound after a shot from the blue line set up by Laeremans (#18/BEL) and Van Bruyssel (#19/BEL). The Belgians hold off their Turkish opponents for the rest of the period. When in the final minute the Turkish goalie is replaced by a player, Berckx (#23/BEL) strikes through Hendrix (#4/BEL) to seal the home team's fate. Team Belgium pockets the first points!

“We had a fierce opponent in tonight’s game against Turkey,” Coach Guylain Turgeon said. “We had to work extremely hard and earned every goal, we showed some character and managed to come back to win the game.”

Final score: TUR vs. BEL: 3-5 (1-1; 2-2; 0-2)

MVP BEL: Schoovaerts (#12)

Game Schedule

04.03.2024 – 18:00 – TUR vs. BEL: 3-5 
05.03.2024 – 14:30 – BEL vs. MEX
07.03.2024 – 11:00 – BEL vs. BIH
08.03.2024 – 11:00 – NZL vs. BEL
10.03.2024 – 14:30 – BEL vs. ISL
Posted on March 4, 2024 at 20:49 by CP

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