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Kazakhstan eyes its rivals in 2012 World Ice Hockey Championship 27 февраля 2012, 11:14

Kazakhstan team needs to win over France and Belorussia to retain a place in the top division in the World Championship.
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Andrey Shayanov, national hockey team's head coach. ©Daniyal Okassov Andrey Shayanov, national hockey team's head coach. ©Daniyal Okassov
Andrey Shayanov, national hockey team head coach said that Kazakhstan team needed to win over France and Belorussia to retain a place in the top division in the World Championship, Tengrinews.kz reports. “In my opinion our team needs to outplay both teams. Because one victory might not be sufficient. I have seen all the 2011 World Ice Hockey Championship matches and can tell you that France, Belarus, Switzerland and Slovakia are permanent top division teams and they are very experienced. They are unlike Slovenian and Austrian teams that are in and out of the top division. They are more well-organized and more experienced. However, I think that this formula will allow us to concentrate on specific matches,” national team's head coach Andrey Shayanov said about Kazakhstan chances to keep a place in the top division this year. According to the coach, the team was focusing on its first match against Belorussians in the World Championship that was held in Germany. “We have made a mistake then. Several players failed to come to the Championship, and the team was weaker than we expected. Meanwhile, the guys intended to win over Belarus and to compete for a higher places,” Shayanov said. However, coaches field bring the players' spirits back up after that loss. The head coach added that in spite of the fact that Barys players were the main candidates to the national team, the places to the World Championship are not secured to anyone. “There are legionnaires and there are Kazakhstan-born players, but we don't consider all of them being national team players. All of them are from Barys. Those who are in Barys first team now are not automatically the candidate for the national team. We have selected players this way prior to German tournament. Unfortunately, it turned out to be of ill use later on. Those guys were the national team candidates and we tried to pursue their careers with KHL, but failed. At present every player is on his own place as a result of his work and the game he shows on ice,” the coach said about national team selection criteria. Shayanov was hopeful that national team's players would compete with each other and there will be more Kazakhstan players in the team, but this might become possible only if one more Kazakhstan team will reach KHL next year. “There is no competition in the national team now. I could say that reserve players are competing to get into the fourth line of the team. Those players who are taking part in KHL matches on a regular basis will form three first sets of five and this will be our shock power,” the coach added. After some trainings in Astana the team will travel to Italy where it will play three friendly matches starting from April 16. Then the team will go to Helsinki. It will start training for the final stage of the tournament early in May. Kazakhstan will play its first match against Switzerland on May 5. The team will fight against France on May 6, Belarus on May 8, Slovakia on May 9, the USA on May 11 and Canada on May 12. Kazakhstan team will finish its first round by playing against the Finnish team on May 14.

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