Day: April 8, 2019

2019 Worlds: Day 5 Recap

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Group A

Finland beat Switzerland; 6-2

Goals

  • Switzerland – Evelina Raselli, Alina Muller
  • Finland – Susanna Tapani, Rosa Lindstedt, Linda Valimaki, Michelle Karvinen (2), Minnamari Tuominen

At the beginning it looked as if the Swiss were going to give the Finns a run. Switzerland opened the scoring and phenom Alina Muller tied the game in the second period, but Finland broke out after that scoring four unanswered goals. Switzerland didn’t win a single game in preliminaries but will move on to the quarterfinals as all five Group A teams advance.

Canada beat Russia, 5-1

Goals

  • Canada – Natalie Spooner (3), Rebecca Johnston, Blayre Turnbull
  • Russia – Liana Ganeyeva

It was the Natalie Spooner show as she tallied her 50th-52nd goals for Team Canada as well as a primary assist to give Canada a safe lead early in the game. Russia pulled goaltender Anna Prugova after three goals in favor of Morozova who let in two. Russia struggled taking four early penalties, and getting no shots on goal the entire second period.

Despite losing Marie Philip-Poulin early to injury, who made her first appearance in this Worlds tournament this game for Canada, Russia could not pull it together to score more than one late power play goal by Liana Ganeyeva. Shots on goal ended 45-8 for Canada. Spooner was given player of the game along with Russia’s Anna Shibanova.

Group B

Czech Republic beat Japan, 3 – 1

Goals

  • Czech Republic – Denisa Krizova, Vendula Pribylova, Tereza Vanisova
  • Japan – Hanae Kubo

The Czech Republic continued their roll in Group B, winning their third straight game and securing their spot in the quarterfinals.

France beat Germany, 3 – 2 in overtime

Goals

  • France – Lara Escudero, Estelle Duvin, Chloe Aurard (ot)
  • Germnay – Nicola Eisenschmid, Kerstin Spielberger

It took an extra 1:44 of hockey for France to win their first game in the top tier but Chloe Aurard scored, unassisted, to secure the win in their final preliminary game. They’ll face either Sweden or Japan for the 9th place game.

Gold for Chinese Taipei

The Chinese Taipei players celebrate a goal in the deciding game against Iceland for tournament win at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B

By Andy Potts – IIHF.com

Chinese Taipei enjoyed a perfect week in Romania as it won the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B. After posting five victories from five games, the team secured its second promotion in three seasons of IIHF competition, improving on last season’s silver medals at this level when it finished behind Spain in Valdemoro.

The race went down to the final day, although Chinese Taipei held the upper hand going into the tournament’s decisive game against Iceland. The Icelanders had lost game two of their campaign against New Zealand and knew that only a win in regulation would be enough to pip Chinese Taipei by virtue of a better head-to-head record. New Zealand was also in the mix, and its 5-1 victory against Croatia in Sunday’s opening game would set up a three-way tie on 12 points if Iceland could beat the impressive Taipei roster.

The ladies from the North Atlantic gave it a good go: this game was alive until the final 10 minutes, when Hui-Chen Yeh and Sing-Lin Tao scored twice in 13 seconds to turn a precarious 3-2 scoreline into a commanding 5-2 advantage that endured until the hooter. First Yeh stole the puck in the Iceland zone and advanced to make it 4-2, then the next attacking face-off for Chinese Taipei saw Yang-Chi Lin launch a point shot that Tao redirected past Karitas Halldorsdottir. The game, and the tournament, was won.

So what made the difference for Taipei after it came close 12 months earlier? With many players returning for Romania, the big change was a question of style. In Spain, goals flew in at either end; in Brasov, the defence tightened up. The team allowed just eight goals in the whole event – half the number from a year ago. Tzu-Ting Tsu saw her GAA drop from 2.98 to a miserly 0.72, giving up just two goals in the three games where she featured. Understudy Yun-Tzu Wang was also trusted with more minutes and produced improved numbers in this event. That all meant that a slight drop in productivity from the team’s scoring leaders, Hui-Chen Yeh and Ting-Yu Tsu was not a big problem; this was very much a case where a defence won a championship.

Iceland’s loss saw it drop to third place behind New Zealand. Second place for the Silver Fernz represents the country’s best-ever finish in IIHF World Championship play. Previously NZ’s best was a third place in Division IIB in 2017. For Iceland, it’s now three bronze medals in four seasons at this level.

Even after the top places were confirmed, there was still drama to come. The final game saw host nation Romania face Turkey needing a two-goal victory to secure its survival. A win in regulation would set up a three-way tie between those two nations and Croatia, each with three points. A two-goal swing for Romania would doom Croatia, while Turkey could still be demoted if it lost by five or more.

The Turks made a fine start, jumping to a 3-1 first-period lead with Cagla Baktiroglu banking two goals and an assist. But Romania rallied, tying the game in the second period and going in front when Ana Voicu potted her second of the night in the 48th minute. Suddenly, the home team could see a way of escaping the last place in the table but a Dilara Lokbas goal two minutes later tied the game at 4-4. Tied at 60 minutes, Romania could no longer catch its nearest rivals. Despite claiming a winner in overtime through Timea Csiszer, the Romanians will be in the Division II Group B Qualification next season.

2019 Worlds: Day 4 Recap

Pernilla Winberg scored the game-winning goal against France on Sunday in round-robin play

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Group A

USA beats Switzerland, 8-0

Goals

  • United States – Alex Carpenter, Dani Cameranesi (2), Megan Keller (2), Amanda Kessel (2), Hilary Knight
  • Switzerland – n/a

Team USA cruised to a victory against the Swiss to stay in control of Group A heading into their final game of preliminary round play. Phoebe Stänz was named the Player of the Game for Switzerland, and Keller for the United States. Janine Alder remained in net all game for the Swiss and made 41 saves, despite the onslaught of goals from the American attack.

Group B

Sweden beats France, 2-1

Goals

  • Sweden – Melinda Olsson, Pernilla Winberg
  • France – Lara Escudero

Sweden desperately needed a win in this one to avoid relegation, and they got one in a nail-biter against the French. Escudero actually opened the scoring in the first, France’s best period of the game; they put up 10 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes and 10 for the rest of the game. Sweden came storming back in the second, netting two goals to gain a 2-1 lead and outshooting the French, 15-4. Caroline Baldin turned in another great performance for Team France, stopping 38 shots to keep it a one-goal game.

Emirates win on home ice

Scoring chance for Emirati forward Saeed Al Nuaimi against Hong Kong goaltender Ching Ho Cheung

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

The United Arab Emirates won the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Qualification on home ice in Abu Dhabi and will be promoted to next year’s Division III tournament.

During four days it was a neck-and-neck race between the hosts and newcomer Kyrgyzstan, who both had four wins in four games. Players who originally learned their hockey in Russia and Kazakhstan such as Vladimir Nosov, Mikhail Chuvalov, Vladimir Tonkikh and Alexander Titov dominated the scoring race in the Kyrgyz colours, however, due to eligibility issues with foreign-born players occurring, their first four games were forfeited and the tournament win was out of sight.

The scoring leader was still a player born in Russia though. Artur Zainutdinov, who grew up in Tatarstan, has been playing in the Emirates Hockey League for the Al Ain Theebs since 2016 and gave his debut for the national team with 13 goals and 18 points in five games followed by UAE veteran Juma Al Dhaheri with 6 goals and 14 points.

The Emirates started with an 11-1 victory over Hong Kong, beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 10-3 before winning a Gulf clash against Kuwait 13-1. Then they beat the other newcomer Thailand 8-2 before facing Kyrgyzstan on Saturday evening.

The last game against Kyrgyzstan was a neck-and-neck race as well. The Kyrgyz went up three times but the Emirates always found the answer to tie the game at three after two periods. 22 seconds into the last frame Zainutdinov gave the UAE its first lead in the game but four unanswered goals made it a 7-4 win for Kyrgyzstan. It was their only win in the standings due to the forfeited games while the Emirates won the tournament ahead of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kongers recovered from the tough loss against the hosts on the opening day and beat Kuwait (12-2), Thailand (6-5) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (7-0) while getting three points against Kyrgyzstan. In the deciding game for second place against Thailand the Hong Kongers rallied back from a 4-0 deficit after 21 minutes. They tied the game at five with 2:37 left in regulation time with a goal from captain Alvin Cheuk Him Sham and with 40 seconds left Ka Ho Wong scored the game-winner on a power play.

Thailand moved this season from the Challenge Cup of Asia to the World Championship program and finished in third place in its debut thanks to a 5-4 shootout win against Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first game of the tournament and beating Kuwait 9-1. The Bosnians were fourth thanks to a 9-0 blanking of Kuwait.