Hosts Japan dish out opening-day annihilation at IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships
Monday, 11 March 2013
March 11 - Host nation Japan put on a ruthless display on the opening day of the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey B-Pool World Championships in Nagano, defeating Poland 11-0 to get their campaign off to a perfect start.
Kazuhiro Takahashi put the hosts ahead with the first goal, which came within forty seconds.
It was a sign of things to come for Poland, as red-hot Takahashi netted another four times, with team-mates Satoru Sudo and Masaharu Kumagai both bagging a brace and Tomohiko Maruo and Mamoru Yoshikawa getting in on the action by scoring a goal each to complete the rout.
With an incredible 57 shots at goal during the match, Japan's dominance against their Polish opponents will surely send out a message of warning to the rest of the nations competing in the tournament.
In the first game of the day, Germany took a comfortable 7-2 victory over Estonia, with Frank Rennhack and Udo Segreff both scoring twice.
Robert Past opened the scoring after 55 seconds for the Germans, before Rennhack doubled their advantage just minutes later to give them a first period lead of 2-0.
Segreff scored twice in the second period and team-mates Matthias Albanus and Torsten Ellmer piled the misery on for Estonia as they went into the third period 6-0 down.
Estonia's Tarmo Eerma and Kaido Kalmo showed signs of life from the Estonian team early in the final period, but Rennhack dashed any hopes of an unlikely comeback, completing his brace to make it 7-2.
Both victorious teams from today will be in action again tomorrow as the hosts Japan face Great Britain at 5.30 PM local time (8.30 AM GMT) and Germany take on Slovakia, who will be competing in their first major IPC Ice Sledge Hockey international event, in the first game of the day at 2.00 PM local time (5.00 AM GMT).
The top three teams in the pool will go on to qualify for the Paralympic Qualification Tournament, with the opportunity to compete at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi on offer.
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