GRAZ, Austria – Slovakia’s women’s national team completed an impressive season by winning the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Championship Division I. The win came just two months after they qualified for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – one of the biggest surprises in the history of women’s ice hockey.
Slovakia beat Norway (9-4), Austria (5-3), Germany (2-1) and France (5-1), and only lost against the Czechs, 5-1. The results gave the Slovaks a head-to-head tie against Germany. Slovakia beat the Germans in the round robin and earned the promotion. It is the second straigh event that the Germans were thwarted by the Slovaks. Germany also lost the Olympic bid on home ice against Slovakia.
Norway took home bronze and Austria finished in fourth place, while the Czech Republic and France were relegated Division II for 2011. Six points were not enough for the Czechs to stay in Division I while the French didn’t earn a single point.
Like in the Olympic qualification, the Slovaks were led by their goalie. Zuzana Tomcikova, who was given the Best Goalkeeper Award. Her teammate Iveta Karafiatova was the best defender, German Maritta Becker was named the best forward.