BELGRADE – Unstoppable Estonia sweeps the field to win promotion from the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A in Belgrade to next year’s Division I Group B.
Never shaken nor stirred and eager to make amends for their disappointing demotion during last year's Division I Group B tournament in Donetsk, Ukraine, a new-look Estonia bounced straight back up a division with their credentials hardly been put to test. Seeing off Iceland (4-1), Australia (5-1) and Serbia (5-2), promotion was secured during Day 4 thanks to a 16-3 trouncing of newly promoted Israel. It marks the winning start and job done for the vastly experienced Finnish coaching duo, Sakari Pietilä and Harri Rindell, who stepped in at the helm of Estonia ahead of the tournament.
"We are the best team here, but this can also sometimes prove to be the hardest thing; to win when you know you must do so and while the pressure is on," said Pietilä, who together with his sidekick Rindell accepted the offer to take charge of Estonia just one month ahead of the Division II Group A in Belgrade giving them little time to stamp their mark on the roster. "The biggest challenge for us during our preparations was to try and find what players were best suited to play together," he continued.