World Championship bronze for China

29 April 2023

China 5 Estonia 2

For the second season in a row, the Dragons brought home medals from their World Championship campaign. Although Greg Ireland’s team hoped for a different color than the bronze they won in Tallinn, the way China comfortably survived on its return to the first division highlights the ongoing progress in the national program.


Hat-trick hero Fu Shuai (Parker Foo) summed up the mixed feelings in the locker room after securing third place with Saturday’s success against the host nation.

“It’s a good finish to the tournament,” he said. “We had a bit higher hopes coming into it, but getting this last win, getting the bronze medal is a step in the right direction.

“Hopefully we’ll be back next year and get a better result.”

Parker opened the scoring after 73 seconds, setting the tone for a period in which clinical Chinese finishing set up a 3-0 lead. Luo Jia (Luke Lockhart) doubled the lead, then a powerplay goal late in the session saw Liu Jie (Jason Fram) bang home a loose puck.

“I think we were just focused today,” Parker added. “We knew what we had to do. We wanted to play a 60-minute game and keep their attacks to a minimum. I think we did a good job of that.”

In the second period, things went a little astray. Aleksandr Ossipov was ejected from the game for charging, but the major penalty saw a sub-standard Chinese power play. Worse still, towards the end of the tariff, Kevin Parras put away a rebound to get Estonia on the scoreboard.

Any hopes the home team had of launching a fightback were ruthlessly extinguished early in the third. After 35 seconds, Parker converted a feed from his brother Spencer to make it 4-1, then the brothers combined once more to give Parker his treble. A late consolation goal for Estonia made little difference to the game, nor to the tournament standings. China goes home with bronze, and with hopes of more to come next season.

“There was a bit of a loss of focus in those games that we lost,” Parker admitted. “We know we can be better than we were in those games and hopefully we will be next year.”

Earlier on Saturday, Serbia defeated the Netherlands in a shoot-out. However, that was not enough to save the Serbs from relegation, with the Dutch surviving thanks to their win against China. The gold medal, and promotion, will be decided on Saturday evening when Japan takes on Ukraine knowing that anything better than a loss in regulation will be good enough for top spot.

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