New Zealand’s international season began on a sour note for 2019 with the Under-20 national men’s team losing 12-1 to China.
Facing China in their opening game of the IIHF U20 Division III World Championships in Reykjavik, Iceland would prove to be a tough task for Justin Daigle and his crew. Their previous four encounters with China have seen the NZ U20s lose 11-2, 11-2, 4-1, and 4-1.
China found themselves in the lead early on with Jianing Guo scoring thirteen seconds into the fray to stun the New Zealanders. They refused to let up from there on out, amounting nine unanswered goals before the Junior Ice Blacks found a way to break starting goalie Siming Wu’s shutout streak.
With five minutes remaining Haydn Boul scored the lone NZ goal with Ethan du Plooy and Harry Tappin both assisting on the play.
Chinese forward Qianyi Huang was the top scorer with 3 goals and 3 assists, followed closely by Jing Wang who tallied a goal and 4 assists. Charlie Lilly was voted New Zealand’s best player of the game.
New Zealand’s starting goalie Drew Kinney allowed 7 goals through two periods, before being replaced by Evan Froger in the third. Both netminders faced a heavy amount of puck with China taking a total of 77 shots on goal, while New Zealand could only register 12.
While the Kiwi side was unable to convert on the powerplay, their opponents scored once with the man-advantage and three more shorthanded.
The 12-1 result is the third consecutive meeting between the two nations where China have tallied ten or more goals.
Led by the Canterbury Red Devils trio of Luke Hill, du Plooy and Ryan Fraser, the Junior Ice Blacks will be looking to bounce back when they face Bulgaria tonight (11pm NZST). The Bulgarians came away 10-1 victors in their tournament opener against South Africa today.
Note: Highlights are unavailable for this game with YouTube blocking the live streams post-game due to music copyright issues. We apologize for any inconvenience but this is out of our control – Puck Yeah is doing whatever we can to remedy this for the remainder of the tournament.
Main photo: Josh Fraser