Belarusian hockey players have failed to make it into the semifinals of the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk after losing 3-2 to Sweden in a dramatic clash on Thursday evening.
For two periods, defending champions Sweden and hosts Belarus were locked in a neck-and-neck battle in front of a largest-ever crowd of 14,598 at Minsk Arena. After trading two goals apiece over the first 40 minutes, Swedish defenseman Mattias Ekholm made up for a mistake that led to a penalty shot to come back 57 seconds later and score the third-period game winner.
Geoff Platt and Aliaksei Yafimenka (Yefimenko) scored for Belarus.
With 582,032 people said to have already attended its games, the world hockey championship in Minsk has broken the attendance record held by the Czech Republic since 2004.
The only other time Belarus’ national hockey team advanced to world championship quarterfinals was in 2009. The squad suffered a 4-3 defeat to Russia, which went on to win gold. Belarus finished 10th in 2010 and 14th in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
www.belsat.eu/en, via BelaPAN