Germans advance, Swedes roll

YOG: Slovakia, Kazakhstan shut out

Innsbruck  Austria

Seven goals in the opening period led Sweden in a romp over Slovakia. Photo: Christopher Kelemen / GEPA Pictures

Kazakhstan – Germany 0 – 2 (0 – 1, 0 – 1, 0 – 0) Game Sheet INNSBRUCK – Germany closed their preliminary round with a 2-0 win over Kazakhstan, setting up a rematch with rival Austria in the semi-finals. Kazakhstan goaltender Anastassiya Ogay performed admirably in net through nearly two periods, keeping her team in the game as Germany piled on the shots on net. But with ten seconds remaining on the clock in the second frame and a German player in the penalty box, Germany’s captain Valerie Offerman went coast-to-coast along the boards, cut inside and tucked a backhand shot past Ogay for the 2-0 lead. Lucie Geelhaar had Germany’s first goal on an assist from Pia Szawlowski for Germany’s first goal, but the Germans could not produce any more offence despite playing a Kazakh team that has been greatly outscored in earlier games. Kazakhstan, despite having few shots on net, did have a chance to close the lead to one in the third period, but forward Meruyert Ryspek’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced out, preserving the shutout for Germany. The German women will now have a day off before their semi-final tilt against Austria, who won their preliminary round match 5-2. Offermann made no secret that the game will be a stiff test for her team. “We will need more of everything, more fight, more heart, more concentration,” said Offermann. “We all want a medal, so we’ll need to skate hard and show that we want to win, because Austria is a good team and we will have to play our best to win.” Kazakhstan will also play in the semi-finals, but will be in tough against heavy tournament favourites Sweden, which beat the Kazakhs 17-0 in their last game.

Sweden – Slovakia 12 – 0 (7 – 0, 4 – 0, 1 – 0) Game Sheet INNSBRUCK – Sweden continued its unbeaten run through the 2012 Youth Olympic Games with a 12-0 throttling of Slovakia in their final game of the preliminary round. Malin Wong had four goals in the game, giving her a tournament-best ten goals, while Sabina Kuller and Kristin Andersson each had four points to lead the Swedish attack. With the loss, Slovakia fell to 0W-4L for the tournament and will not advance to the playoffs. Johanna Eidenstein scored Sweden’s first goal on a power play in the opening period, followed by six more from her teammates (three by Wong) as the Swedes put their opponent away early in the game. Slovakia could not generate any offence and produced just on shot on net in the game. Sweden will head into the semi-finals as the top seed with a 4W-0L record. It’s no surprise that the Swedes have been in control of the women’s event, being one of only two of the participating teams (Germany the other) in the Youth Olympics to have played in the top division IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship earlier this month. They will face the loser of the Germany-Kazakhstan match this afternoon. ADAM STEISS
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