The Korean women’s ice hockey team is cruising, aiming for promotion to the second division of the world championship for the first time in history.
Korea, led by coach Kim Do-yoon, held the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship Division 1 Group B (3rd division) Italy and Poland at the ice rink at the Gwanggyo Complex Sports Center in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do on the 17th and 18th in the first and second matches. They won 2-1 (overtime) and 4-0, respectively, to record two consecutive victories.
With 2 wins (1 win, 1 consecutive win, 5 points), they are in first place among the 6 participating countries.
Korea is aiming for promotion to Division 1 Group A (second division) for the first time. If you win this competition, you will be promoted.
Korea’s IIHF ranking is 19th. Following Italy (17th), which was evaluated as the toughest opponent, the momentum of beating Poland (20th), an ambush, is great. The remaining three games are Slovenia (22nd), England (23rd) and Kazakhstan (21st), which are lower than Korea.
One of the honorable mentions of two consecutive victories is goalie Heo Eun-bi (20, University of Connecticut). In two games, he saved 74 of 75 shots on target (SOG). She spared no effort and as she headed towards her goal, she stretched her arms and threw her body at the puck.
Huh Eun-bi, who focused on her recovery last year due to her right knee injury, said, “This year is no different than a debut stage where I play as a main player in the national team, but the coach, coaches, and older sisters helped me well, so I think I got good results in two games.” .
He said, “I think it’s the first time I’ve experienced 75 shots in two games. I didn’t even know there were 74 saves. I don’t remember the game scene very well because I focus only on blocking the puck.” Just thinking,” he said.
The first time Eunbi Huh grabbed an ice hockey stick was in the first grade of elementary school. He started by watching his younger brother (Heo Min-jun, a freshman at Korea University) do it.
It is safe to say that there is no infrastructure for women’s ice hockey in Korea. In a harsh environment, there were no female players of her age, so she teamed up with male players to compete. From a young age, he competed with opponents stronger than himself and naturally grew faster.
Heo Eun-bi has been together as a member of the A national team in earnest since 2018, when she was in her third year at Sehwa Girls’ Middle School.
Huh Eun-bi said, “I wrote ‘Middle Break (the important thing is an unbreakable mind)’ on the whiteboard of the national team’s locker room. From the coach to all the older sisters, we started this tournament with an unbreakable mindset.” There are a lot of athletes,” he said.
At the same time, she said, “I will be able to win the championship only if I win all the remaining three games,” and expected, “I want to proudly show the results of everyone’s efforts, including the coach.”
Goli often engraves phrases or pictures that have their own meaning on the surface of the mask and the back protector. Matt Dalton, a naturalized Canadian player on the men’s national team, once drew attention by drawing Admiral Yi Sun-sin and the Korean flag. 스포츠토토
Heo Eun-bi wore a basic mask without any decorations in this competition.
Regarding this, he said, “People around me ask and recommend a lot, but I don’t think I’m a player at that level yet. I think I have to show my skills first.” After achieving promotion to the second division for the first time in this tournament, I want to engrave the names of my older sisters on the back of my helmet.”
Also, “I remember crying a lot because I was happy when I received the call to be selected for the national team. I am very happy to be with the coaching staff and my sisters now. They say goalie is a lonely position, but the time we spend exercising together, playing matches, and spending time together is precious.” did.
Heo Eun-bi, who plans to double major in economics and psychology in college, is said to be willing to change her future career path depending on whether or not she is promoted to the second division.
Lastly, Eunbi Huh said, “I feel the pressure of having to do well in all the remaining three games, but I will overcome it and focus on it until the end with a happy heart. As it is a tournament held in Korea, I would be grateful if many people would come to the stadium and support me.”
Korea will face Slovenia on the 20th, England on the 22nd, and Kazakhstan on the 23rd.