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Ice Hockey 2016 - 2017 Discussion Thread

563 posts in this topic

Mens

 

Under 20 Division II Group B World Championships in Logroňo (ESP)

Day 2  (8th January 2017)

 

13:00  South Korea vs Belgium  3-1

16:30  Australia vs Mexico  5-6 after OT

20:00  Spain vs Serbia  4-2

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Top Division World Championships in Czech Republic

Day 2  (8th January 2017)

 

Group A in Zlín

15:30  Canada vs Russia  4-2

19:30  Sweden vs USA  0-4

 

Group B in Přerov

16:15  Switzerland vs Czech Republic  3-2 after GWS

20:15  Finland vs Japan  2-0

 

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group A World Championships in Budapest (HUN)

Day 1 (8th January 2017)

 

12:00  Austria vs France  2-1

15:30  Norway vs Germany  3-2

19:00  Hungary vs Slovakia  0-4

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group B World Championships in Katowice (POL)

Day 1 (8th January 2017)

 

13:00  Great Britain vs Italy  0-3

16:30  China vs Kazakhstan  4-1

20:00  Poland vs Denmark  0-2

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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Canada - Russia  4-2

 

Canada survives scare

Russians were 2-2 in 3rd before falling, 4-2

Canada survives scare

 

Canada scored two goals in the third to break a 2-2 tie and defeat Russia in a game that was fiercely competitive throughout.

 

The score should come as lttile surprise. Although Canada had won all six previous meetings in WW18 play by a cumulative score of 22-8, there were several close games, notably a 1-0 overtime win in 2014 and a narrow 3-2 win in 2015.

 

Russian goalie Valeria Merkusheva was sensational in keeping the score close. The Canadians peppered her with 45 shots while facing only 14, but Amy Potomak and Brette Pettet managed to bang pucks by her in the third to create the margin of victory.

 

Potomak's goal came on the power play after three sparkling saves by Merkusheva, while Pettet's was a close-in shot off a scramble.

 

"It’s going to be hard to score pretty goals here, so one important thing for us is get to the net and pound pucks in," Pettet said. "It worked out for me at the end, which is great."

 

"We were faster on offense and played well defensively today compared to yesterday [6-1 loss to the U.S.], and, of course, we didn’t make as many bad mistakes as we did against the U.S.," Merkusheva noted. 

 

Indeed, both teams incurred only two minor penalties each. Yesterday, the Russians had five short-handed situations to deal with.

 

"They’re just a good team, plain and simple," said Canada's coach, Troy Ryan. "There’s not one thing in particular they did well today. They played well in the neutral zone. They play a 1-3-1 and try to clog things up. But they compete, play physical. We had the luxury of watching them play the U.S., so we knew what we were getting ourselves into."

 

Both teams have a day off before a critical final slate of games in the round robin. Canada will play the United States in one and Russia will face Sweden in the other. The top two teams in Group A get a bye directly to the semi-finals while the third and fourth teams play the top two teams in Group B (playing in Prerov) in the quarter-finals.

 

The first period for Russia today was much the same as yesterday against the U.S. They came out of it trailing, this time, 1-0, but they kept their opponents largely to the periphery and played a physical game.

 

The only goal was not a highlight-reel gem, but they all count. Alexa Vasko banged home a loose puck at 8:25 after goalie Merkusheva failed to cover up the initial shot. 

 

Shots favoured Canada, 15-2, and Edith D’Astous-Moreau had only two long shots to contend with.

 

But the Russians came out flying in the second, and they were rewarded for their skating and tenacious play. Alina Orlova’s long shot was tipped in front by Oxana Bratisheva at 4:17, tying the game.

 

More incredibly, the Russians took a 2-1 lead some four minutes later, executing a two-on-one perfectly. Alyona Starovoitova, a left-hand shot, skated down the right wing and instead of passing opted to shoot. She beat D’Astous-Moreau over the glove on the short side, stunning the Canadians.

 

This marked only the third time Russia has ever had a lead on Canada in WW18 play and it was the latest in a game as well. Both previous occasions (2010, 2015) were 1-0 leads in the first period.

 

Despite this moment of importance, Canada got down to business and tied the score a scant 38 seconds later. Gabrielle David’s shot was blocked by Merkusheva, but Audrey-Anne Veillette smacked in the rebound, her first goal in a Canada sweater. Captain Ashton Bell collected the puck for her, but Canada was in a fight.

 

The rest of the period was evenly played, and soon after a Russia power play almost resulted in a third goal and another lead.

 

As it stood, the Russians skated with the Canadians, blocked shots, and played an even game throughout. They lacked the necessary firepower to test D'Astous-Moreau regularly, but they sure gave Canada plenty to think about.

 

"I think both teams got off to a good start," Pettet summarized. "It was a physical game, but the biggest thing for us was getting better throughout the game, which I think we did. Hopefully we’ll do the same throughout the tournament."

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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Switzerland - Czech Republic  3-2 after GWS

 

Ruedi scores shootout winner

'Maurer Power' backstops Swiss to shootout win

Ruedi scores shootout winner

 

Lisa Ruedi scored the only goal of the shootout and was credited with her second goal of the game as Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 3-2.

 

However, the real hero of the game was goaltender Saskia Maurer, without whom the game would have got nowhere near overtime.

 

Through 65 minutes of hockey the shots on goal were 46-14 in favour of the Czechs, but Mauer was unbeatable for nearly two periods as her team built up a two-goal lead. The Czechs battled back, but in the end the Swiss take the extra point.

 

“The hardest part was the traffic in front,” Maurer said afterward. “I couldn't see some of the shots.”

 

It was the second straight game where Switzerland was out-shot by more than 2-1. When asked the difference between the two games, Maurer said that “there were more shots in this one.”

 

“We are very happy and very proud that we could win this type of game,” said Swiss head coach Andrea Kroni. When asked about Maurer, Kroni replied, “Oh, she did a great job! She's really young – not even 16 yet – but she's a really good goalkeeper and that's why she's here.”

 

For Czech goaltender Kristyna Blahova, the game was also challenging, but in a different way.

 

"It was very difficult to stay sharp with so few shots," she said afterward. "For a goalie, the hardest thing might be if you only get two shots in a period.”

 

“We're disappointed with the outcome,” said Czech coach Jan Fidrmuc. “The way we played for two periods, it never should have gone to a shootout. We made a nice comeback, but unfortunately it didn't lead to a victory. The Swiss goalie played very well.”

 

It was another large and enthusiastic gathering in Prerov as 2230 came out to support the Czech team, but Noemi Ryhner silenced them less than three minutes in, converting Shannon Sigrist's pass and quickly firing it between Blahova's legs.

 

The Czechs shook it off and dominated the rest of the first period but were unable to score a goal, and the Swiss got a lucky bounce in the 16th minute to double their lead. Ryhner's shot deflected over the net and took a strange bounce off the end boards. Blahova took just long enough to find the puck to give the chance to Ruedi, who was parked right at the side of the net as the puck came to her.

 

Overall the shots were 11-6 in favour of the Czechs in the first period, but the tournament hosts completely took over the game in the second period in all aspects but on the scoreboard. They fired 23 shots at Mauer in the middle frame, and they would need all of them before they found an opening.

 

“In the second period we took a step back,” said Kroni. “We stopped playing aggressively and backed off and allowed the Czech Republic to have a lot of chances.”

 

The best chance was a clear-cut breakaway by Noemi Neubauerova just past the game's midpoint. The Czech forward made a great move and appeared to freeze Maurer before going to the forehand deke, but the Swiss goalie managed to stretch her left skate back to the goalpost and take away the room that Neubauerova appeared to have.

 

Asked if it was her best save of the game, Maurer grinned and replied, “It was one of them.”

 

“We played better than yesterday and out-skated our opponents, but we didn't score enough goals,” Neubauerova sighed. “After the first period we came on strong, we didn't quit, and that's important.”

 

After driving to the net in ever-increasing waves, it was finally a fortunate bounce for the Czechs that got them on the board. On the power play with just over a minute left in the period, Adela Skrdlova barely kept the puck onside at the point, then let go a wrister toward the crowd of players in front. It hit Aneta Cornova, who wasn't even facing the play, and deflected over the shoulder of Maurer, who didn't see a thing. 

Following the shooting gallery on Maurer that was the second period, the Swiss tidied up their team defence somewhat in the third period and greatly reduced the number of shots against, but they didn't prevent the tying goal. Magdalena Erbenova pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone, made a couple of nice moves to get into a good shooting position and fired a wrister just inside the far post with 8:23 to play in regulation time.

 

After a scoreless overtime, the game was decided in a shootout, where Maurer made three more saves. Blahova stopped the first two shots she faced, but in the third round was beaten by a perfect shot by Ruedi, which went off the back bar and out so quickly that the goal wasn't awarded until referee Yana Zueva consulted a linesman and the goal judge.

 

The Czechs momentarily lead Group B now with four points, while the Swiss are third with two. After two games in two days, the teams will have Monday off before finishing off the group stage on Tuesday – the Czechs against Finland with first place on the line, and Switzerland against Japan.

 

“We'll celebrate this win but that will only last one hour,” Kroni asserted. “After that we'll start looking ahead to Japan, and we have to win that game.”

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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Sweden - USA  0-4

 

Americans keep going

Reideborn kept it close in 4-0 loss

Americans keep going

 

Team USA scored three second-period goals to blow open a close game and skate to a 4-0 win over Sweden at PSG Arena in Zlin.

 

The win keeps the Americans tied with Canada for first place in Group A while Sweden is now winless in two games.

 

The Americans poured on the shots and could have won by many more goals, but goaltender Sofia Reideborn was sensational. She stopped 57 of 61 shots while Sweden fired 23 shots at Lindsay Reed.

 

"We have a good goalie," Sweden's coach Ylva Lindberg said, "so it’s okay to give up shots on goal. But what we can’t do is give them good scoring chances. We did in the second, but in the third we were much better."

 

The Americans have yet to lose to Sweden in WW18 play, a string of success that includes eight previous wins (now nine) and a goals for-against ratio of 56-4 (now 60-4).

 

In fact, the last time Sweden so much as scored one goal against the U.S. was in 2009, a period that now includes seven straight shutouts.

The Americans got the only goal of the first and could have had several more except for Reideborn, who faced an incredible 27 shots. 

 

Delaney Drake found the net, though, on a great play, coming out of the corner with a deke and beating Reideborn to the short side with a quick shot.

 

The period might have gone differently had Sweden not cashed in on an early two-man advantage, but the American penalty kill was aggressive and put too much pressure on the Swedes’ playmaking abilities.

 

"I thought we played really well," said Anneke Linser. "We played like a team and had a lot of positive energy on the bench. And I think killing those two penalties off right away was a big factor in how the game developed."

 

The Swedes played their best hockey in the first half of the second period. They forechecked well, pressured the American defence, and pressured the puck carrier effectively. The only thing they couldn’t do was create many decent scoring chances on Reed.

 

When Linser knocked in a back-side rebound at 9:51, it felt as though Sweden had lost its chance. Less than a minute later, captain Cayla Barnes scored from the point on a power play, and at 17:23 Natalie Heising made it 4-0 on a nice end-to-end rush off a turnover at the U.S. blue line.

 

"They move the puck so well," Lndberg acknowledged. "When we make the right decisions, we do well, but later in the second period we gave them too many chances. It was a big down for us and a big up for them."

 

Teams have a day off tomorrow, but on Tuesday it wil be the United States facing Canada and the Swedes taking on Russia. The U.S. might well have the upper hand in the game given that the players arrived for today's game when the Canada-Russia game was tied 2-2 eary in the third period.

 

"It gives us the thought that we have to step on them right away, get them behind and have a quick start," Linser said.

 

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2017

 

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Finland - Japan  2-0

 

Finns win vs pesky Japanese

Nieminen provides both goals in a Finnish win

Finns win vs pesky Japanese

 

Petra Nieminen scored twice and Jenna Silvanen made 17 saves for the shutout as Finland edged a feisty Japanese team 2-0.

 

Petra Nieminen scored twice and Jenna Silvanen made 17 saves for the shutout as Finland edged a feisty Japanese team 2-0.

 

Japan was just promoted to the top division of the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship this year, but in two games they have given fits to two countries that have won medals in this tournament before. After falling 3-2 to the host Czech Republic yesterday, they played Finland close tonight, and were within a goal into the last period.

 

Remarkable was not just that they kept the score close, but again the play was not one-sided. The first period was scoreless, with the Finns managing a slim 7-6 shots advantage.

 

The Finns opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the second period, with Nieminen receiving the pass in the high slot, swooping down low and firing a wrist shot over the glove of Ayu Tonasaki, who was playing her first game of the tournament.

 

But if anyone expected the floodgates to open at that point, they were mistaken. The Finns did get a couple of decent chances, but Tonasaki made some good saves.

 

Once again, the Finns started the third period with jump and nearly scored another first-minute goal, but couldn't jam the puck in at the side of the net. Nieminen did add her second goal of the game six minutes later with another nice shot.

 

That was all the scoring, however. With six points in two games, Finland now leads Group B, and a single point on Tuesday against the Czech Republic will be enough to secure top spot. As for the Japanese, they'll be in the relegation series, but Tuesday's action will determine their opponent.

 

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Tomorrow Monday will offer a day off in the womens Under 18 Top division and in the mens Under 20 Division II B as well, but the womens Under 18 divisions I A and I B will continue with their second playing day.

 

 

Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group A World Championships in Budapest (HUN)

Day 2 Schedule (9th January 2017)

GMT +1

 

12:00  France vs Norway

15:30  Slovakia vs Austria

19:00  Germany vs Hungary

 

Livestreams

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group B World Championships in Katowice (POL)

Day 2 Schedule (9th January 2017)

GMT +1

 

13:00  Italy vs China

16:30  Denmark vs Great Britain

20:00  Kazakhstan vs Poland

 

Livestreams

 

 

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This is just insane how we need some 100000000000 shoots to score a goal

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Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group A World Championships in Budapest (HUN)

Day 2 (9th January 2017)

 

12:00  France vs Norway  2-3 after OT

15:30  Slovakia vs Austria  3-2 

19:00  Germany vs Hungary  3-0

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Division I Group B World Championships in Katowice (POL)

Day 2 (9th January 2017)

 

13:00  Italy vs China  4-2

16:30  Denmark vs Great Britain  5-1

20:00  Kazakhstan vs Poland  2-4

 

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After one day break Tomorrow Tuesday will continue the battles in the womens Under 18 top division with the last day of the preliminary round. also the 3rd day of the mens Under 20 division II B. The womens Under 18 divisions I A and I B will have their first of two programmed rest days.

 

 

Mens

 

Under 20 Division II Group B World Championships in Logroňo (ESP)

Day 3 Schedule (10th January 2017)

GMT +1

 

13:00  South Korea vs Australia

16:30  Serbia vs Belgium

20:00  Spain vs Mexico

 

Livestreams

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Top Division World Championships in Czech Republic

Day 3 Schedule  (10th January 2017)

GMT +1

 

Preliminary Round last day

 

Group A in Zlín

15:30  USA vs Canada

*Traditional Match of the two top favorites, both countries are already qualified for the semifinals, tomorrows game will just determinate the 1st and 2nd place of the group and thus teorethically better opponent in the semifinals.

19:30  Russia vs Sweden

*Both Teams already know that they will must play the quarterfinals, tomorrow they will fight for the 3rd and 4th place in the group, and for a "easier" opponent in the QF.

 

Group B in Přerov

16:15  Czech Republic vs Finland

*Finland already qualified for the Quarterfinals will want to top the group and avoid the 3rd placed team of Group A, The Host team still fight for the quarters in case of win they will qualify, if it will be a win in regulation time they will advance from 1st place if it will be a win after overtime/GWS from 2nd place behind Finland.

20:15  Japan - Switzerland

*The match may be important for Switzerland, If Finland will beat Czech Republic, Switzerland will still fight for the quarterfinals and in case of win will accompany Finland in the play-offs, For Japan this match hasn´t any big meaning, the Japanese girls might take this game as another practice, because they already know that they will play the relegation round, their opponent will be known after tomorrows games and it will be one of the Czech Republic/Switzerland.

 

Livestreams

 

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Mens

 

Under 20 Division II Group B World Championships in Logroňo (ESP)

Day 3 (10th January 2017)

 

13:00  South Korea vs Australia   4-1

16:30  Serbia vs Belgium   6-1

20:00  Spain vs Mexico  10-0

 

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Womens

 

Under 18 Top Division World Championships in Czech Republic

Day 3  (10th January 2017)

 

Preliminary Round last day

 

Group A in Zlín

15:30  USA vs Canada  0-1 after Overtime

19:30  Russia vs Sweden  2-1 after GWS

*Canada won the group A with 8 points, USA finished second with 7 points, both teams advance automatically to the semifinals, 3rd Russia with 2 points and 4th Sweden with 1 point go to the quarterfinals.

 

Group B in Přerov

16:15  Czech Republic vs Finland  3-2 after Overtime

20:15  Japan - Switzerland  1-2

*Finland won the group with 7 points, Czech republic finished second with 6 points, both teams qualify for the quarterfinals (Finland will face Sweden and the Czech Republic will meet Russia), 3rd Switzerland 5 points and 4th Japan 0 points will play together again in the relegation round serie (best of 3 matches).

 

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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USA - Canada  0-1 after Overtime

 

Canada's Bell fires OT winner

Canada-U.S. decided by 1-0 score

Canada's Bell fires OT winner

 

Captain Ashton Bell scored the only goal of the game at 1:57 of 3-on-3 overtime to give Canada first place in Group A.

 

Bell gathered a loose puck at the U.S. blue line to create a three-on-one but didn't hesitate in firing a shot over the glove of Alex Gulstene.

 

"It was a great play by my teammates to get the puck free," Bell recounted. "I happened to be there and was thinking shot all the way."

 

"I was just watching the puck trying to read what she was going to do," Gulstene described, "She got a quick release off and beat me clean."

 

Danika Ranger was excellent in stopping all 23 shots she faced for the shutout, while Gulstene stopped 29 of 30, many tough saves as well.

 

"We wanted to shut them down, and I think as a team we did that," said Ranger. "I tried to stay in front of the puck and communicate with my defence, so they'd know when to push players out of the way. They were great."

 

"We came out a little slow in the first but got some momentum as the  game went on," Gulstene added. "In the third and overtime we kept the puck in their end. All in all, the team played really well."

 

Players on both sides blocked shots with impunity, and both sides had their share of puck possession. In the end, it was one moment, one shot that was the difference.  

 

In some ways the game had little meaning in that both teams had already earned byes to the semi-finals, but a Canada-United States is never meaningless. Regardless of the score, the result set up what is expected to be a gold-medal final between the same teams on Saturday night in Zlin.

 

The scoreless first period offered five power plays, three to the U.S., but the two best scoring chances came short-handed to Canada.

 

Midway through the period Gabrielle David stole the puck at her blue line and dashed the length of the rink only to be stoned by Gulstene on a deke.

 

Later it was Audrey-Anne Veillette with a quick steal right in front of the American goal, but her low shot was again stopped by Gulstene.

 

The best stop by Ranger in the Canadian goal came off a nice play by Grace Zumwinkle, who walked out of the corner and snapped a hard shot to the short side which the goalie blocked aside.

 

The shot Ranger remembers best, though, was one early on which to the casual eye might have seemed ordinary but was anything but for her. "I remember making a nice gove save on their first shot, and that was important because it really got me into the game with some momentum." 

 

The second period was also scoreless but not without plenty of end-to-end action. The Americans came out flying and had good pressure in the Canadian end, but no pucks got by Ranger.

 

After killing an early penalty, Canada then took over for a long stretch—but still no goals. The best chance came when Audrey-Anne Veillette set up Sarah Fillier in front, but Filler’s shot rang off the post behind Gulstene.

 

Later, on a Canada power play, American Taylor Heise stripped Brooke Hobson of the puck at the blue line and went in alone, only to blast a shot high.

 

The third was more cautious, but the U.S. had by far the better of play. Cayla Barnes nearly had the game winner late in the third but Ranger, from the seat of her pants, kicked out her left pad to make a sensational save.

 

And so, Canada has fired the opening salvo, and if the teams meet again for gold, it promises to be another North American gem.

 

"We're faster than they are," Gulstene said. "They get a lot of energy, and then they kind of settle down a bit. We have to attack their weaknesses when they're down. We're both great teams, but we have to bring our A game if we meet in the finals."

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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Czech Republic - Finland  3-2  after Overtime

 

Overtime magic in Prerov

Erbenova's OT PP goal puts Czechs in quarters

Overtime magic in Prerov

 

 

A shot from the point by Magdalena Erbenova on a 5-on-3 power play in overtime found the back of the net, and sent the host Czechs into the quarter-finals.

 

“I guess I'm lucky, maybe I know how to score, I don't know,” an elated Erbenova said after scoring her second game-winning goal of the tournament. “I changed my stick – it was cracked in two places and broke, so I exchanged it and told myself that I'd score. So I did it.”

 

Erbenova also had an assist in the game, and her three goals and four points are both tied for the tournament lead among not only defenders, but all players, with the USA's Cayla Barnes.

 

The Czechs entered the game knowing that two points would see them through, whereas the Finns already knew they were in the next round. For two periods, that's how it looked, a the Czechs out-shot Finland 24-13, but led only 1-0.

 

When asked if the fact that the game was more important to the Czechs than the Finns was a factor in the game, Finnish defender Heli Allinen answered, “Maybe a bit, but not as much as I was expecting.

 

“Emotion or motivation wasn't the problem. We just didn't play our game,” continued Allinen, who was chosen her team's best player and assisted on the go-ahead goal. “We need to pass better, skate more, and be more patient.”

 

In the third period the Finns pushed back and scored twice, putting the Czechs in trouble. A loss would mean nervously watching the group's last game, and being big fans of Japan. A goal by Kristyna Kaltounkova with 2:34 left tied it, setting up Erbenova's overtime heroics.

 

The first period was played rather defensively, although there were some funny bounces at each end which saw the puck bounce dangerously close to the net. Each team had a couple of power plays, but the best scoring chance of the period came shorthanded, when Natalie Mlynkova won a race for a loose puck in the neutral zone, made a nice move to beat a Finnish defender, but then couldn't fool Finnish goalie Sanni Ahola, who denied her with the left pad.

 

The game became chippy in the second period and referee Yana Zueva was busy, doling out 12 minor penalties. The first two of them went to Finland, giving the Czechs a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:09. It took just 23 seconds to capitalize, with Mlynkova deflecting Klara Hymlarkova's shot from the point.

 

“The Czechs are a good team. They've got speed and they get lots of shots, and they've got a dangerous power play, as we saw,” said Allinen. “But the biggest problem was ourselves. We could have beaten them if we had played three good periods instead of one.”

 

Things calmed down in the third as both teams focused on the task at hand. And what a third period it turned into.

 

After two lacklustre periods, the Finns woke up. They fired 13 shots on Kristyna Blahova – half of their total for the game. They tied it with under 14 minutes to play when the Czechs were unable to clear the zone and captain Petra Nieminen fed Kiia Nousianen, who fired a shot from just below the top of the circle over Blahova's blocker.

 

Four minutes later they tied it on the power play, and it was a great individual effort from Jenniina Nylund, who carried the puck over the blueline, cut into the middle, and fired a shot over Blahova's glove.


“We knew the Finns would be the toughest opponent of the group, and we were waiting for them,” Eerbenova explained. “They're a great skating team and they can capitalize when they get chances, but we believed that we could beat them with our team play, and we did.”

 

With their situation now desperate, the Czechs started pressing. Ahola made a couple of nice saves, but she couldn't stop Kaltounkova, who carried the puck down the left wing boards, then drove to the net from a sharp angle and somehow managed to find some room through the Finnish goalie to tie the game, setting off a big celebration on the ice and in the stands.

 

“After the 2-2 goal I was jumping for joy, and maybe burst into tears of joy,” said Erbenova, who earned an assist. “I'm really happy that we scored that goal and went into overtime.”

 

The teams started overtime 3-on-3 as usual, but each had a player in the penalty box. With 35 seconds to play, Iina Tohila was called for tripping, putting the Czechs a player up. Another 10 seconds later, they went two up when Noemi Neuenbauerova returned to the ice, setting the stage for the team's second 5-on-3 goal of the game.

 

The win means that both teams are in the quarter-finals, but with the Czechs staying in Prerov, the Finns are headed to Zlin. One will play Russia, the other Sweden, still to be determined.

 

“It doesn't matter who we play,” Allinen dutifully answered.

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

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Russia - Sweden  2-1  after GWS

 

Russia wins in a shootout

2-1 loss means Sweden will face Finland in quarters

Russia wins in a shootout

 

Oxana Bratisheva scored the only goal of the penalty-shot shootout, giving Russia a quarter-finals date with the Czech Republic after defeating Sweden, 2-1.

 

Bratisheva scored on the fourth Russian shot with a nice deke, and Felizia Wikner Zienkiewicz was stopped by Valeria Merkusheva on the final chance for Sweden to secure the win. 

 

"I thought she was going to shoot," said Sweden's goalie, Sophia Reiderborn, who was sensational again in stopping 39 of 41 shots in the game. "That's why I looked a little off balance. Things happen. It sucks."

 

With the loss, Sweden will face Finland in the other quarter-finals while Canada and the United States await their semi-finals opponents. The Swedes have managed only two goals in three games while surrendering eleven.

 

Sweden thought it had scored the winning goal with only 2:45 remianing in the third period off a wrist shot from Sofie Lundin, breaking a scoreless tie. But just 55 seconds later the Russians tied it when Nina Pirogova banged in a loose puck from in close.

 

"This was a very tough game," admitted Russian forward Polina Bolgareva. "But we worked and worked and managed to score. We were happy."

 

"The Czechs are a difficult opponent for us," Bolgareva continued. "They have defeated us in the past, but tomorrow we will win. That's my feeling."

 

Indeed, Bolgareva, in her record-tying fourth WW18, has a long memory. The Czechs beat Russia, 1-0, to claim bronze at the 2014 WW18.

Tonight's three-on-three overtime produced few scoring chances, forcing the shootout. 

 

Despite the importance of the game the Swedes came out a little flat, and the Russians skated well with the puck to create some good scoring chances. But Reideborn, coming into her own in Zlin, was letter perfect to keep the game scoreless.

 

The second period featured no fewer than seven penalties, and although there were more good chances as a result, there were no goals.

Pernilla Forsgren lost the puck at the Russia blue line, allowing a two-on-one for Russia with Maria Nadezhdina and Bolgareva. Bolgarvea missed the open side on a hard pass across, though.

 

A short while later Celine Tedenby walked in alone on goal but Merkusheva was there to make a nice save.

 

Another bobble at the Russian line, this by Maja Nylen Persson, allowed a clean break for Viktoria Kulishova, but she was stopped by Reideborn.

 

Later in the period, during another power play, the Swedes had two quick chances from Lina Ljungblom and captain Hanna Olsson, but Merkusheva was that much better.

 

The Sweden-Finland game will take place in Zlin tomorrow night while the Russia-Czech game will be earlier in the day in Prerov. First on the agenda tomorrow, though, is game one of a best-of-three relegation-round series between the Swiss and Japanese.

 

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WOMEN'S UNDER 18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2017

 

Frontpage

 

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Japan - Switzerland  1-2

 

Tight win for Switzerland

Swiss edge Japanese in Relegation preview

Tight win for Switzerland

 

In what turned out to be a preview of the relegation series, Switzerland edged Japan 2-1 to take third place in Group B.

 

Less than two hours before they were set to face off, these two teams found out this would be the first of three – and possibly four – straight games. The only difference is, this one wouldn't count in their relegation series, other than determine who would be the home team for the first and third games.

 

“This is the third year in a row that we have ended up in the relegation series because of the game right before us,” sighed Swiss coach Andrea Kroni, after watching the Czech Republic's overtime win over Finland dash her team's quarter-final hopes. “It's disappointing for all of our players, but we had to put it aside because we had a hockey game to play. They did the job, they won, so I'm proud of them for that.”

 

After a scoreless first period, the teams traded goals in the second, and then Noemi Ryhner scored a power-play goal in the first minute of the third period, and that proved to be the game-winner.

 

“I think we played pretty good today, but not enough goals,” assessed Japanese head coach Yoshifumi Fujisawa, echoing the problem his team had against the Czech Republic and Finland.

 

Like they have all tournament, the Japanese played their opponents tough. And as she has been all tournament, Saskia Maurer was excellent in the Swiss goal, although in this game she was a lot less busy than against Finland or the Czech Republic, facing only 18 shots in the game.

 

Both second-period goals were scored in the first six minutes. Lara Zimmermann struck first for Switzerland, beating two Japanese players to the puck near the Swiss blue line getting a breakaway, beating Mei Sato high to the blocker side. Then four minutes later, Moeka Tsutsumi whacked in a rebound to tie the score for Japan.

 

A Japanese penalty late in the second period carried over into the third, and just 26 seconds in, Ryhner's big slapper from the point went through everybody and in.

 

After that, Switzerland put the game on lockdown, allowing only five Japanese shots the rest of the way.

 

“Today we were playing for pride, for Japan hockey,” Fujusawa continued, “but tomorrow will be more important.”

 

Assessing the opponent he will be well familiar with over the next few days, Fujisawa said, “Switzerland is a good team. They have a good goalie and they're big, so it's going to be tough.”

 

As for the Japanese, Kroni said, “They are a difficult team to play against because they are very disciplined and they never quit.

 

“We wanted to show the Japanese that we can beat them. Now we have to go out tomorrow and the next game and do it.”

 

These two teams now go at it for real starting tomorrow, with the second game on Friday and the third, if necessary on Saturday. The winner of the best-of-three series stays in the top division, while the loser goes down to Division I, Group A.

 

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Today was also Champions League day, we had both semifinals 1st leg matches scheduled,

 

Frolunda (SWE) won against Fribourg-Gotteron (SUI)  5-1 and is really close to the Grand final, in the second semifinal another swedens team Osters Växjo lost to the czech team Sparta Prague  1-2.

 

second leg matches which will determinate this seasons European Champions League finalists in Fribourg and Prague are scheduled already for next Tuesday 17th January.

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