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Belarus crash out of ice hockey elite

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A Belarus goalie letting a puck in. Photo: Reuters

Belarus' winless streak continued as they were once again thrashed, this time 0-4 by the underdogs Austria in their sixth match at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Denmark.

This means Belarus will leave the elite league as the last match with Slovakia has no effect on the table standings. Belarus is being relegated to a lower league for the first time since 2004.

The current tournament has been a nightmare for Belarusians who scored only 4 goals and conceded 29 in the 18 played periods. The aweful performance prompted Belarus coach Dave Lewis to resign after the first three defeats. The team was taken over by Hieman Hrodna manager and Belarus assistant coach Sergei Pushkov but he failed to make a difference.

Next year, Belarus will play against Kazakhstan, Slovenia, South Korea, Hungary and Lithuania. To return to the elite division, the team will need to finish first or second.

Sergei Pushkov. Photo: Reuters
Belarus vs Austria. Photo: Reuters