In one of the most unlikely IHLC title games in recent memory, with France shocking Canada to win their third IHLC title 2 days prior to open the 2014 IIHF World Championships, Italy then shocked Les Bleus with a 2-1 win to become Interational Hockey Lineal Champions for the first time. The Azzurri, established in 1924, won their first title in their 90-year history on the backs of a last minute goal by Markus Gander.
In a game largely dominated by France, both in terms of shots and power-play opportunities, Italy managed to stay afloat throughout, equalizing Laurent Meunier’s opening goal with a power-play tally from Giulio Scandella in the second period. Italy, which racked up 14 penalty minutes, including a rare feat in getting two too many players on the ice penalties, was 7-for-7 on the penalty kill on the back of goaltender Daniel Bellissimo. The France squad, who boasts three NHLers (plus Stanley Cup winner Cristobal Huet in goal) to Italy’s zero, squandered a five-on-three shortly after Scandella’s goal, but were unable to equalize.
With the win, Italy becomes the twenty-third nation in history to win the IHLC, and the first new champion since Denmark in November 2010, who will also be their first IHLC title defence on May 13 in another Group A Prelimiary Round tilt. This is the second IHLC title change in as many matches, with France winning the IHLC from Canada in a shocking shootout upset, before dropping the title to Italy. This was the first ever game between France and Italy for the Interational Hockey Lineal Championship.
04:28 – PEN – team, too many players
09:39 – PEN – Tudin, interference
17:14 – PEN – Besch, interference
21:08 – PEN – S. Da Costa, hooking
27:02 – PEN – team, too many players
30:57 – GOAL – Meunier (Desrosiers)
31:59 – PEN – Manavian, roughing
32:53 – PP GOAL – Scandella (Johnson, DiCasmirro)
36:09 – PEN – Borgatello, tripping
36:15 – PEN – Sullivan, delay of game
38:23 – PEN – Amar, slashing
38:55 – PEN – Scandella, broken stick
44:19 – PEN – Kostner, hooking
59:02 – GOAL – Gander (Tudin, Larkin)
W: Bellissimo (28-29)
L: Huet (15-17)
SHOTS ON GOAL
5+7+5 = 17
8+12+9 = 29
Goaltenders: Daniel Bellissimo, Andreas Bernard. Defence: Christian Borgatello (A), Alexander Egger (C), Armin Hofer, Trevor Johnson, Thomas Larkin, Davide Nicoletti, Daniel Sullivan, Alex Trivellato. Forwards: David Borrelli, Nathan DiCasmirro (A), Luca Felicetti, Nicola Fontanive, Markus Gander, Brian Ihnacak, Marco Insam, Diego Kostner, Joachim Ramoser, Vincent Rocco, Giulio Scandella, Daniel Tudin.
Goaltenders: Florian Hardy, Cristobal Huet. Defence: Baptiste Amar (A), Yohann Auvitu, Nicolas Besch, Florian Chakiachvili, Benjamin Dieudé-Fauvel, Jonathan Janil, Antonin Manavian. Forwards: Pierre-Édouard Bellemare (A), Stéphane Da Costa, Teddy Da Costa, Julien Desrosiers, Damien Fleury, Anthony Guttig, Brian Henderson, Laurent Meunier (C), Damien Raux, Nicolas Ritz, Antoine Roussel, Luc Tardif, Yorick Treille.