INGOLSTADT, Germany - Canada and Slovakia will remain among the elite eight teams at the Inline Hockey World Championship after winning their crossover games against Austria and Brazil. Now the four teams will look ahead to the quarterfinals, which kick-off the playoff round tomorrow.
Canada – Austria 4-3 (3-0, 0-1, 1-1, 0-1)
Last year Canada bumped Austria from the top division at the Inline Hockey World Championship and this year they showed that they still belong among the elite eight, with a 4-3 win over Austria in the crossover game.
Canada will finish the rest of the championship in the top division. Next up for the Canadians is top-seeded preliminary round finisher, Germany. The loss sends Austria back to Division I where they will enter as the top-seeded team from Group C and will take on South Africa in the quarterfinals.
It took just 23 seconds for Canada to set the tone, when Brendan Brooks scored following the opening face-off. The fog horn in the Ingolstadt arena blasted two more times in the next six minutes as Canada pulled out to a 3-0 lead.
Before halftime, Austria got on the board with a classic power-play goal to make it a two-goal game at halftime. Just 17 seconds after the break, Austria opened the third quarter with a mirror image of Canada’s opening face-off goal, cutting the lead to 3-2.
The game was scoreless for 10 minutes until Adam Ross restored the two-goal Canadian advantage, but again, the Austrians were able to cut into the lead when Martin Grabher-Meier scored to open the fourth quarter. Despite the close score, Canada spent most of the time with the puck, out-shooting the Austrians 47-19.
Austria killed any hopes of getting the game-tying goal with penalty trouble late in the game. Canada had a four-on-two, but couldn’t get the 5-3 goal and settled for the one-goal win.
There is still a chance that Austria can join the top division for next season. The Division I gold medalist will be promoted to the top division, while the eighth-place finisher from the top level will move down to Division I at the end of the World Championship.
Slovakia – Brazil 6-3 (1-0, 2-1, 1-1, 3-1)
Slovakia will finish the Inline Hockey World Championship in the top division after beating Brazil 6-3 in the second crossover game.
The crowd was pulling for the festive Brazilian squad, but Slovakia was simply too much for the South American team to overcome. Slovakia held just a slim 1-0 lead after the first 15 minutes giving the Brazilians a glimmer of hope. Tibor Varga put in the 2-0 goal midway through the second quarter, but Brazil still kept the game close getting their opening goal on the power-play at the 19:42 mark. But Diego Araujo, who assisted on the first Brazil goal, took a costly penalty that opened the door for the Slovaks to restore their two goal lead before halftime.
Roman Simunek gave the Slovaks their biggest lead of the game 2:01 into the second half, making it 4-1. But Brazil didn’t let the momentum shift for long. Caua Guzman scored three minutes later to make it a manageable 4-2 game.
The two-goal lead stood through the next 12 minutes, but Brazil couldn’t close the gap despite their best efforts. Eventually fatigue won out as the Slovaks put in three more goals in the fourth quarter, surging ahead to 6-3 win. Varga finished the game with two goals and an assist.
Brazil returns to Division I for its quarterfinal match-up against Chinese Taipei. Slovakia will take on the Americans in the top division quarterfinals.