Germany stuns Finland in OT

Anwander the hero for GER; Czechs in control of Relegation

Seven Bridges Ice Arena Woodridge Illinois United States

Goalie Susanna Airaksinen holds her position while Germany's Manuela Anwander and Ines Strohmaier look for a scoring chance. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images

Finland-Germany 1-2 (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)

CHICAGO – Manuela Anwander scored a power-play goal at 6:21 of overtime to give Germany a dramatic 2-1 win over Finland and a place in the semi-finals against Canada in the WW U18 Championship.

“I was in front of the goal and I had my stick on the ice, and our defence shot the puck,” Anwander said. “It hit my stick and I fell to the ice, and everyone screamed “goal”! I didn’t really see the puck go in the net.”

The power play came as a result of a trip by Johanna Koivisto on Jacqueline Janzen into the end boards that required a stretcher to remove the injured Janzen. She was taken to hospital but her condition is not yet known.

“I think it isn’t good,” Anwander offered, “because she is not the kind of person to lie on the ice unless she is really hurt.”

With the win, the Germans must now face Canada, a team that beat them 15-0 during the round robin. “Of course, we will lose that game,” Anwander conceded, “but then we play for third place and we win a medal.”

The first period was a wide-open affair even though there were no goals. Finland had three power-play chances to Germany’s two, but neither side was able to score. Finland came closest when one shot rolled off the body of goalie Nadja Gruber and along the goal line, but she lunged back and knocked the puck away.

The Finns dominated play in the middle period even though the score remained close, but Suomi opened the scoring on a nice play. Kateriina Laitila took the puck down the right side and fed it in front to Heidi Hallikainen just as she reached the top of the crease. Hallikainen redirected the pass beautifully past Gruber to give Finland a 1-0 lead.

Although the Finns couldn’t get a second goal right away, they seemed in little danger of having the game tied. They made a few sloppy turnovers but each time their superior skating and strength allowed them to recover fully.

The Germans got their break early in the third period on a power play. Up a man, they also had a delayed penalty coming their way when Nadine Marx took a point shot that was beautifully redirected in front by Tanja Eisenschmid.

The goal gave the Germans extra energy and they had the better of play the rest of regulation time. The Finns had a chance to win, however, when they had four minutes of power-play time to end the third, but they incurred a minor of their own and couldn’t convert with the extra man.

That set the stage for Andwander’s overtime heroics. And what does the team do tomorrow to prepare for the semi-finals? “We go shopping!” Anwander said, beaming.

Czech Republic-Russia 5-0 (1-0, 0-0, 4-0)

The Czechs won the first game of a best-of-three Relegation Round series by a decisive 5-0 score. Katerina Solnickova scored the only goal of the first period, and the Czechs blew the game open with four goals in the final period, two from Katerina Kaplanova. The Czechs outshot their Eastern opponents 41-13 and are in excellent position now to send the Russians to Division I for 2011. One light moment came during the warmup when both teams skated onto the ice wearing red sweaters. The Russians were in error and changed into white prior to the opening faceoff.

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