Austria's ladies soar in opener

YOG: Hosts blank Slovaks 9-0, Swedes rock Germany 11-0


Tournament favourites Sweden rolled over Germany 11-0 in their opening game. Photo: Iuliia Vynokurova / YIS Photo / IOC

Austria - Slovakia 9 - 0 (2 - 0, 5 - 0, 2 - 0) Game Sheet

INNSBRUCK - The Austrian women’s hockey team got off to a flying start at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games, keeping the Slovak offence bottled up and scoring at will to take their first game 9-0. The Austrian team chemistry was evident in the game early on, with many of the girls coming from the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division 1 one week earlier. Captain Tamara Grascher and forwards Julia Frick and Julia Willenshofer each scored two goals to lead the Austrian attack. “We trained hard and thankfully we had a very good start,” said forward Anna Meixner. “We had a few days to relax before this tournament and we feel ok."

With the period length at 15 minutes and penalties set at two minutes, the ability of teams to stay out of the box could factor significantly in this tournament. The Slovaks were called for tripping early in the first, giving the Austrian offence even more of an advantage in puck control. Willenshofer got the puck in front on a cross-crease pass from Victoria Hummel at the back of the net and roofed it over goaltender Nikola Kaliska.

Kaliska was under pressure the entire game, while on the other end goaltenders Paula Camilla Marchhart and Julia Pechmann spent most of the time watching their forwards control the puck in the Slovak zone. By the end of the game the shots were 44-3 in favour of the Austrians.

Austria has a date against the Kazakhs next on Saturday, while Slovakia goes up against Germany on Sunday.

Germany – Sweden 0 – 11 (0 – 3, 0 – 4, 0 – 4) Game Sheet Fresh off their bronze medal campaign at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, Team Sweden appeared in top form during an 11-0 dispatch of the Germans on the opening day of the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck. Linn Peterson and Kristin Andersson each scored a hat trick as the Swedes built up an insurmountable lead through two periods. With the majority of Sweden’s IIHF U18 bronze medal winners making up the Olympic squad, the team chemistry amongst the girls was evident. Eight players on Sweden finished with three or more points. “We were a little tired, but excited to be playing in the Youth Olympics,” said Peterson. “We have a great team and I love playing with my teammates. We want to continue to play our game and keep skating hard, but we also want to have fun. The Olympic experience is so special, you have to enjoy it.” Andersson opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. Her linemate Malin Wong won a faceoff in the German zone and passed the puck to Andersson, who fired it past netminder Meike Krimphove. Andersson struck again minutes later, skating along the goal line and sneaking the puck into the left side of the net past Krimphove’s outstretched skate. A goalie switch in the second period did little to help Germany, as Peterson scored all three of her goals in the frame, putting the game out of reach. In the third period, two breakaway goals by Amanda Lindberg and Johanna Eidensten and a pretty wraparound backhand goal from Emmy Alasalmi rubbed salt into the wounds of the German team, and Sweden walked away with the 11-0 shutout victory. Sweden, looking like an early favourite in the women’s tournament, will next play Kazakhstan on Sunday. Germany will also play Sunday against the Slovaks, who lost their opening game 9-0 against Austria. ADAM STEISS
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