Ireland’s Ice Hockey team lost their opening game of the 2012 IIHF World Championship Division III in Erzurum, Turkey going down to 7-2 to Luxembourg.
The Boys in Green made the perfect start when they opened the scoring with just over one minute into the game as Adam Jackson-Wyatt slotted the puck behind Luxembourg’s net, which was assisted by Gareth Roberts.
But the goal was short lived as exactly a minute later Luxembourg equalised. Mid way through the period, Luxembourg came back fighting, scoring three goals in the matter of four minutes, leaving the score 4-1 at the end of the first period.
Steven Balmer was given his marching orders to the penalty book for tripping early in the second as the Luxembourg side took advantage of the powerplay with Schneider making it 5 – 1 to his side. Late into this period, Schneider slotted the puck past Irish keeper Adam Pepper to make the scoring 6-2 at the end of the second period to Luxembourg.
A series of penalties was dished out to both teams by Croatian referee Vedran Krcelic, but Ireland capitalised with less than five minutes to go in the game. A swift pass from Gareth Martin into the stick of Adam Jackson-Wyatt shot past the Luxembourg keeping, scoring his second of the game and bringing the score-line to 6-2.
But Luxembourg replied in minutes with another goal, this time through Houdremount, clocking the scoreboard to 7-2 in favour of Luxembourg.
Ireland’s goaltender, Adam Pepper, was one of Ireland’s star performers saving a remarkable 37 out of 44 shots.
Speaking from Turkey today, Ireland’s head coach, Kenny Redmond said ‘Lack of match practice showed on the ice today, but we battled well. We got better as the game went, our performance was on the up, however there was a three minute mental lapse in the first period. We have great team spirit and we will get better’.
The Irish are back in action tomorrow when they face Greece with Ireland Head coach, Kenny Redmond telling the www.iiha.org ‘We have to regroup tonight and work on correcting simple mistakes and believe in ourselves’.
Ireland will face the host nation Greece at 1pm local time and will fancy their chances of getting their first win of the tournament having beaten the hosts 3-1 when they last met in 2010.
Greece will come into the game on the back of a bad defeat also after they lost 6-1 to Turkey in their opening game
Follow the live scores for all matches on www.iihf.com. Men’s Division III. Also catch up with the team on twitter: @IIHA & @IIHFScores, #TeamIreland and the IIHA’s FaceBook page.