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N. Korea suffers 2nd straight loss at women's hockey worlds in S. Korea

All Headlines 19:09 April 03, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, April 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fell to the Netherlands 4-2 for its second straight loss at the women's hockey world championships in South Korea on Monday.

North Korea blew a 2-1 second-period lead at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship Division II Group A at Kwandong Hockey Centre, dropping to 0-2 after two days at the six-nation competition.

North Korea's Kim Nong-gum (L) battles Myrthe Martens of the Netherlands for the puck at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship Division II Group A at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on April 3, 2017. (Yonhap)

Located in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, some 230 kilometers east of Seoul, the arena is one of two competition venues, along with Gangneung Hockey Centre, in the city.

The tournament, which will wrap up Saturday, doubles as a test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The tournament also features host South Korea (No. 23), Britain (No. 21), Slovenia (No. 24) and Australia (No. 28). The top nation after round-robin play will be promoted to Division I Group B next year, while the last-place nation will be relegated to Division II Group B in 2018.

The North Korean team of 20 players and 10 coaches and officials arrived in South Korea on Saturday amid high tensions on the peninsula, in light of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests and threat of further provocations.

The two Koreas will square off at 9 p.m. Thursday at Gangneung Hockey Centre.

North Korea opened the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Australia on Sunday, submitting lethargic efforts on both ends.

Against the Netherlands, North Korea competed with more urgency, and the players had extra zip to their passes and shots.

The Netherlands still got on board first, as Julie Zwarthoed banged home the rebound following Maree Dijkema's shot at 8:47 in the opening frame.

North Korea kept attacking and evened the score on a penalty shot by Kim Un-hyang at 2:41 in the second. Myrthe Martens was penalized for slashing a North Korean player on a clear breakaway, and Kim, who scored North Korea's lone goal on Sunday, beat goalie Lisa Daams with a sweet fake.

North Korea went ahead less than six minutes later, with Jong Su-hyon feeding Kim Hyang-mi from behind the net on a power play.

North Korea's lead lasted barely three minutes, as Cloe Keijzer's slap shot off a face-off beat goalie So Jong-sim high on the glove side at 11:21.

The Netherlands went ahead for good with a power-play goal by Savine Wielenga, who slapped one home from the top of the left face-off circle at 18:59.

Mieneke de Jong added an insurance goal for the Dutch on a 5-on-3 power play at 9:07 in the third, deflecting home a point shot by Keijzer for a 3-2 advantage.

The Netherlands outshot North Korea 31-19. The chaotic game saw 42 combined penalty minutes.

South Korean supporters cheer on North Korea against the Netherlands at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship Division II Group A at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on April 3, 2017. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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