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4 Jan 2018

Belarus open Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament with victory over UAE

MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) – Belarus beat the team of the United Arab Emirates 12-7 in the opener of the 14th edition of the Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament for the prizes of the President of Belarus on 4 January, BelTA has learned.

The team of the President of Belarus opened the scoring early in the first period through the efforts of forward Pavel Belyi assisted by Alexander Lukashenko. The hosts made it 6-0 in the opening stanza with Alexander Lukashenko scoring twice.

The guests scored their first of the night in the 22nd minute. Team UAE scored four more before the second intermission. One goal was waved off because it was scored with a high stick. With seconds left to play in the second period Alexander Lukashenko sent home his third of the night for 7-5.

In the third period Team UAE narrowed the gap to 7-8. Despite the guests' efforts, the final score was 12-7 in favor of Belarus.

Khaled Al Suwaidi (goaltender, Team UAE) and Andrei Astashevich (forward, Team Belarus) were named the best players of the match. Alexander Lukashenko scored three goals and made three assists.

Team UAE is taking part in the Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament for the fourth time. Last year Belarus beat UAE 7-3.

The U15 Golden Puck ice hockey competition is underway at Chizhovka Arena. In Group A, Dnepr Zhlobin was whitewashed by Mirazh Gorki 0-4. Minsk Griffons routed Neftegrad Novopolotsk 12-3. In Group B, Medved Minsk hammered Shakhtyor Soligorsk 16-0, while Olymp Kobrin blanked Prinemanskiye Yastreby Grodno 8-0.

The Golden Puck tournament was resumed in Belarus in 1997, following the initiative of head of state Alexander Lukashenko.

On the second day of the Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament Switzerland will take on UAE (at 12.30; small arena), while Belarus will face China (19.00; big arena) in Group A. The Group B matches on 5 January will feature the Czech Republic vs Balkans (14.00; big arena), and Sweden vs Russia (19.30; small arena).

The team of the President of Belarus is the ten-time winner of the Christmas international tournament (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017). Team Russia is a three-time champion (2007, 2011 and 2015).

The organizers of the event are the President's Sports Club, the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation (BIHF), the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Minsk City Hall, the Education Ministry, the National Olympic Committee, the Federation of Trade unions of Belarus and the BRSM Youth Union.


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