Austria - Germany 2 - 0 (0 - 0, 2 - 0, 0 - 0) Game Sheet
INNSBRUCK – A pair of goals from Anna Meixner and a 22-save shutout from goaltender Paula Camilla Marchhart booked Austria’s ticket to the 2012 Youth Olympic Games gold medal game. The girls beat Germany 2-0 in front of a packed crowd in what has become a Cinderella story unfolding in Innsbruck.
“Never, I never thought we’d have a chance to get a medal, and I don’t think that the whole of Austria thought we would have a chance,” said Meixner, Austria’s goalscoring hero. “But it was amazing, looking up in the stands and seeing so many people standing behind Austria.”
Austrian forward Anna Meixner took the game over after Germany’s captain Valerie Offermann was denied on a breakaway chance early in the second period. Her first goal came when she took the puck into the German zone, skated around the net and back in front without being touched, waiting until just the right moment to send her shot past German goaltender Meike Krimphove.
“I come around the net a lot, but usually I pass (laughs),” said Meixner. “But I skated around and saw the open goal and took a shot.”
Meixner then struck again with four seconds left on an Austrian power play. Following a broken play in front of the net, she pounced on the loose puck and buried it home to put her team up 2-0.
Austria’s best chance early came with 2:43 left in the first period, when Victoria Hummel got loose on a breakaway but hit the crossbar. Germany came out strong but could not get enough chances on net to really harass Marchhart, who grew bigger in the net as the game went on and refused to bend to German pressure.
“I’m feeling great, it was a hard game but we won,” said Marchhart. “It’s a feeling I can’t describe when I’m able to perform like this.”
“She’s amazing,” said Meixner of her goaltender. “We know that we can’t play without her because she is the heart of our defence.”
Austria now has a day to rest before it will take on favourites Sweden for the gold medal on Sunday. Sweden is a tough assignment, having won the bronze in the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship with many of the players who are now participating in this tournament, while Austria played in the Division I tournament earlier this month. Germany will play Kazakhstan tomorrow in the bronze medal game.
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Sweden - Kazakhstan 11 - 0 (2 - 0, 5 - 0, 4 - 0) Game Sheet
INNSBRUCK – No surprises in the first game of the women’s semi-finals, as Sweden controlled the puck through three periods in their game against Kazakhstan en route to a 11-0 victory.
The Swedes, heavy favourites to claim the gold at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, now await the winner of the Germany-Austria semi-final.
Sweden took over the game in the second period, scoring five unanswered goals. Anna Kjellbin blasted the puck past Ogay first with a point shot at 12:43. Next, Matildah Andersson got the puck in front on the net on a pass from Kristin Andersson (no relation), scoring her second goal of the tournament, and Malin Wong followed up soon after with a short-handed marker.
With two minutes left to go in the period, Sabina Kuller’s shot from the blue line went through Ogay’s pads, and Maria Fuhrberg rounded out the scoring by batting a loose puck into the net with five seconds remaining on the clock.
Kazakhstan held on through the opening period, thanks in large part to the efforts of Anastassia Ogay in net. She gave up only a pair of goals on 22 shots, while her teammates did not register a shot on net until just under five minutes remaining in the second frame.
Johanna Eidenstein and Lina Backlin each had a goal in the third period, and Amanda Lindberg scored two more to seal the 11-0 victory.
Sweden now has booked their place in the gold medal final, not a surprise considering the team has heavily outscored the opposition throughout the entire Games. They will play surprise finalists Austria for the gold medal on Sunday morning.
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