Silver in Sofia for New Zealand Ice Blacks

Silver in Sofia for New Zealand Ice Blacks

The New Zealand Ice Blacks secured a silver medal at the 2024 IIHF Division II B tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The medal was the team’s first since 2019, and an improvement on the 2023 championship result where the team finished 4th overall.

The team MVP was Stefan Amston, with 5 goals and 4 assists. Amston also picked best defenceman for the tournament.

Ice Blacks goaltender, Csaba Kercso-Magos was ranked second at the tournament, with a 90.91 save percentage and 3.33 GAA.

The coaching staff were proud of the team’s achievement, “while it’s not the gold we had hoped for, we are still incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished here in Bulgaria. With 9 rookies on the team this year, the future is looking bright for the Ice Blacks” said co-head coach, A.J. Spiller.

The team was forced to wait until the last game of the tournament, Georgia vs. Belgium, to find out if they would receive a silver medal or bronze medal, with the top 3 places at the tournament not being decided until the final game. Belgium defeated Georgia, maintaining their unbeaten run at the tournament, awarding the silver medal to the Kiwis, with the Georgians taking home bronze.

The tournament summary for the team is as follows:

New Zealand vs. Chinese Taipei 5-1 win
New Zealand vs. Georgia 6-2 win
New Zealand vs. Bulgaria 6-7 overtime loss (penalty shootout)
New Zealand vs. Belgium 0-6 loss
New Zealand vs. Turkey 5-2 win

Full tournament and individual game statistics can be viewed here:

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