|February 25th, 2013|
|2||Round Robin||1:00pm||ITA - BLR||2 - 2 (2 - 1) (3 - 1 PS)||Final|
Italy – Belarus 2-2 (2-1 halftime, 3-1 shootout)
With a mere four World Ranking points separating Italy and Belarus, chances were good that today’s Hockey World League meeting would be a barn burner and it indeed lived up to expectations as Italy out-distanced Belarus 3-1 in a shootout to take two points from the meeting.
Italy looked to be in pole position in the first half as they held the lead throughout nearly the entire 35 minutes. Alissia Padalino gave the Italians the early 1-0 lead 16 minutes into action and Guiuliana Ruggieri double the advantage with five minutes left in the half.
But Belarus quickly sparked to life, netting a goal in the last minute of the first half and following up with the equalizer in the first minute of the second half. .Yukiya Mikheichyk was the first-half hero, while teammate Natilla Stsifutkina scored the 2-2 equalizer.
Belarus clearly had the momentum, but could not score the go-ahead goal as the teams engaged in a see-saw battle in the next 35 minutes. With the score deadlocked at two when the final hooter sounded, it was time for a shootout. Italy proved that they had the softer scoring touch in the shoot-out, easily topping Belarus, 3-1.
Belarus will look to rebound against host Spain tomorrow, while Italy can enjoy a day off in the five-team round robin.