Go Search Go Contents Go to bottom site map

(Olympics) Men's hockey team can match opponents in skating, forechecking: defenseman

2018/02/14 13:18

Article View Option

By Yoo Jee-ho

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea may be the shortest and lightest team in the men's hockey tournament at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, but the players can still hold their own in skating and forechecking, one of its top defenders said Wednesday.

At 178 centimeters, Kim Won-jun is actually about average on his team in height, but he'd be the third shortest player on the Czech Republic, South Korea's first Group A opponent for Thursday's game. But the 26-year-old said there is more to hockey than just body size and brute strength.

"When it comes to skating ability and forechecking, I don't think we trail any of the hockey powers," Kim said after Wednesday's practice at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung. "If we can capitalize on our strengths, then we can have the momentum swung to our side."

  

South Korean men's hockey defenseman Kim Won-jun poses for a photo after practice at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 14, 2018. (Yonhap) South Korean men's hockey defenseman Kim Won-jun poses for a photo after practice at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 14, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim said South Korea, despite still being ranked 21st, the lowest among 12 nations in the men's tournament, has closed the gap with others.

"We can attack, and we can throw counterpunches too," he said. "I am excited to play in the Olympics."

   Kim said the key against the Czechs, ranked sixth in the world, is to withstand the pressure in the first period.

"I think we'll have our chances if we can hold our own in the first period," he said. "It's easy to be scared of going up against big teams, but we have plenty of experience of facing strong teams. I don't think we'll be too nervous."

  

South Korean men's hockey players listen to instructions from their coaches during practice at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 14, 2018, the day before their first Group A game against the Czech Republic in the men's tournament of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Yonhap) South Korean men's hockey players listen to instructions from their coaches during practice at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 14, 2018, the day before their first Group A game against the Czech Republic in the men's tournament of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

(END)

angloinfo.com