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China turns in solid showing against Korea to advance to World Para Hockey semifinal

Five-goal first-period paces way to 7-2 win, China to face United States on Saturday

Friday night’s World Para Hockey Championship game between China and Korea went pretty much as expected.

After rolling through the round robin with a 3-0 record and outscoring the opposition 21-2 in the process, China scored five goals in the first period and would go on to a 7-2 victory over Korea in the quarter-final at Moose Jaw Events Centre.

With the win, China will now face the United States in their semifinal, while Korea will take on Italy in the fifth-sixth place game.

Things were interesting in the early going, as China’s Yu Tao Cui opened scoring 2:17 in, only to have Seung Hwan Jung reply for Korea just under three minutes later. The rest of the period belonged to China, though, as Shen Yi Feng, Wang Zhi Dong, Li Hong Guan and Tian Jin Tao all scored to take the 5-1 lead.

China coach Yin Ji Wu pointed to the familiarity the two teams have with one another as a factor in planning for the game and getting off to a quick start.

“Team Korea is one team we’re very familiar with, and even before we came to Canada, Korea visited China for three days and we played against them for three days,” he said. “So we knew what we were going to face from them.”

Once the game was in control, China began to take a far more careful approach to their play -- ramping down the intensity somewhat in the process -- given the bigger games ahead.

“I told the players before the game to avoid injuring yourselves, because we have two big games in the next two days and if anyone gets injured it’ll affect the whole team," Yin said. “We were able to win this game and now we look forward to playing the U.S.”

Cho Byeong Seok scored Korea’s second goal 6:12 into the final period -- and beauty at that, roofing a perfect shot from a hard angle -- but Li and Tian added insurance markers to make it a 7-2 final.

Sueng Hwan said that while his team was disappointed with the loss, they were looking forward to the fifth-sixth place game against Italy and the opportunity to redeem themselves.

“As we expected, China was a vey strong team and we were prepared, and even though we lost we did all we could,” Seung Hwan said. “Honestly, we’ve been losing again and again and again, so we’ve been disappointed in that result, but we will try our best (against italy) and we’ll win and go back to Korea happy.”

China, meanwhile, will turn their attention to what will be far and away their toughest test of the tournament in their semifinal against the gold-medal hopeful United States.

“We’re looking forward to facing Team U.S.A., which is probably one of the top teams in the whole world,” Yin said. “So we’re going to learn from them, their individual skills and their team coordination.”

Saturday’s schedule will see the seventh-eighth place game between Norway and Germany lead things off at 11 a.m., followed by the semifinal between China and the U.S. at 3 p.m. and the semifinal between Canada and Czechia at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at

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