BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Coming back from a shocking semifinal defeat, the young Chinese team regained momentum to take the bronze in Beijing 2022 Para ice hockey after beating South Korea 4-0 on Saturday.
With goals from Wang Zhidong, Shen Yifeng and Li Hongguan, China made a its Para ice hockey breakthrough in its Paralympic debut through a highly competitive game at the National Indoor Stadium.
"We are all super happy, and super excited," said Wang after the game. "We just tried to play the best possible way we could and play our own roles on the ice."
South Korea made the first shot just 38 seconds into the game and was blocked by Chinese goalkeeper Ji Yanzhao.
Assisted by Shen and Zhu Zhanfu, Wang broke the deadlock in the fourth minute after his shot was deflected in front of the goal.
Shen added another for China just one minute into the second period with a stunning solo play, after the 23-year-old stole the puck from a South Korean player at the end board and dribbled past defense players to send the puck home.
A few minutes later, Jung Seung-hwan of South Korea was injured and received treatment on the ice as well as rounds of applause from the local crowd, while Shen was penalized for butt-ending Jung.
China played a more aggressive style in the final period and forced a total of 12 saves from South Korean goalkeeper.
Li made it 3-0 less than two minutes to time after a series of exchanges by both teams inside China's attacking zone.
Shen scored his second goal of the game with 11.5 seconds left in a counterattack as he sent the puck into an empty net to secure the win.
With the victory, China became the third Asian team to take a medal in Para ice hockey, following silver medalist Japan at Vancouver 2010 and bronze medalist South Korea at PyeongChang 2018.
"Before the game our coach told us not to pay attention to the score, but just to see it as normal training," Wang said. "We just need to organize every attack, try to score every goal, and then defend every time."
"Thanks to our logical support team, therapists and maintenance technician, they've worked so hard for us," Shen said. "Because of them, we can fully enjoy the game on the ice, to play, and to win the medal." Enditem