SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea claimed the silver medal in men's hockey at the Asian Winter Games on Sunday, following a 10-0 win over China in its final game.
Forward Shin Sang-hoon scored a hat trick and assisted on two goals at Tsukisamu Gymnasium, as South Korea finished the four-nation round robin competition with two wins and a loss.
In the day's second game, Kazakhstan defeated Japan 7-0 to clinch the gold medal with a perfect 3-0 record. Japan, with one win and two losses, took the bronze.
Against China, Shin scored both of South Korea's two first-period goals, while four different players chipped in a goal apiece in the second.
Shin completed his hat trick with a power-play goal at 1:41 in the third period and set up Shin Hyung-yun's goal midway through the period. Forwards Park Jin-kyu and Kim Ki-sung netted the final two goals for South Korea.
South Korea outshot China 66-14 and scored three power-play goals on six chances.
Shin Sang-hoon, the top-line winger, saw less ice time than usual, as head coach Jim Paek mostly deployed his third and fourth lines at even strength. Checking-line forwards also spent plenty of time on power plays against the heavy underdog China.
South Korea opened the tournament Wednesday with a 4-0 loss to Kazakhstan, a lethargic game on both ends. Two days later, South Korea bounced back to defeat Japan 4-1 in a far more inspired performance.
The loss in the first game loomed large, however, as it all but erased South Korea's possibility of winning its first Asian Games gold medal.
"You look back, and you see what you can do better, and you learn from that," South Korea head coach Jim Paek said. "It's too bad it happened that way. We responded well coming back against Japan and China."
South Korea grabbed bronze at the previous Winter Asiad in 2011, with Kazakhstan and Japan winning gold and silver.
South Korean men's hockey players salute the crowd after defeating China 10-0 at the Asian Winter Games at Tsukisamu Gymnasium in Sapporo, Japan, on Feb. 26, 2017. (Yonhap)South Korean men's hockey players salute the crowd after defeating China 10-0 at the Asian Winter Games at Tsukisamu Gymnasium in Sapporo, Japan, on Feb. 26, 2017. (Yonhap)
At seven previous Winter Asiads, South Korea had won four bronze medals while finishing in fourth place three times.
This was Kazakhstan's fourth Asian Games title, and the bronze was Japan's worst Winter Asiad result.