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Japan Falls to Romania at IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship But Avoids Relegation

Under new coach Jarrod Skalde, the Japan's men's ice hockey team kept it close in every tournament game it played and will remain in Division I, Group A.



ice hockey
Japan forward Yuto Osawa in action against Romania in a 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship match on May 4 in Bolzano, Italy. (JAPAN ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Japan Falls to Romania at IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship But Avoids Relegation

Japan lost to Romania 4-2 at the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Saturday, May 4, but avoided relegation for next year's tournament.

In the Division I, Group A game at Sparkasse Arena in Bolzano, Italy, Yu Sato scored at 6 minutes, 21 seconds into the third period to pull Japan to within one goal.

New Japan coach Jarrod Skalde elected to pull goalie Yuta Narisawa with just under three minutes left but Matias Haaranen scored into an empty net to seal the win.

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Japan defenseman Kotaro Yamada looks to score against Romania on May 4. (JAPAN ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION)

The result left Japan with a record of one win, one overtime loss and three losses for four points. Japan avoided relegation when South Korea lost to Italy 8-1 on the final day to finish last in the standings with three points.

Romania took a 1-0 when Roberto Gliga beat Narisawa just over four minutes into the first period.


Japan Ties it Up Late in 1st Period Against Romania

Sota Isogai equalized for Japan late in the first period when his centering pass deflected in off a defender's skate past Romania goalkeeper Zoltan Toke for an unassisted goal.

It was Isogai's third goal of the tournament. The speedy forward finished tied for third in tournament scoring with five points in five games.

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Forward Sota Isogai had five points, including three goals, in the tournament. (JAPAN ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION)

Japan would have been in good shape to get out of the first period level but Yevgeni Skachkov scored just 18 seconds after Isogai's goal to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Szilard Rokaly made it 3-1 for Romania midway through the second period with a backhander that beat Narisawa and there was no further scoring until Sato's goal in the third.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.