One for the history books

WW18: Hungary ladies win first ever top division game


Hungary forward Alexandra Huszak celebrates after scoring the overtime winner against Germany. Photo: Phil MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images

Germany – Hungary 1-2 (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1) VIERUMÄKI – Hungary has continued its improbable run to the top division with a 2-1 overtime win over Germany at the 2013 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. Alexandra Huszak scored the goal that won the country’s first ever top division women’s ice hockey game. “It’s incredible, I don’t know what to say,” said a tearful Huszak after the game. Two and a half minutes into the overtime, with both teams skating heavily and showing exhaustion, Huszak won the puck and took off for the German net with one defender left to beat. She managed to get the puck through the legs of the defenceman, regained possession and tucked it in with a backhand shot past goaltender Franziska Albl.   The victory over Germany was the first ever for a Hungarian women’s team in the top division of an IIHF World Championship. The emotion poured out of the Hungarian players, some of whom collapsed on the ice in joy after what was a very hard fought game. “Before the overtime, our coach told us that we were in the final stretch, and we just needed to come together,” said Huszak. “I am so happy for my teammates.” With both teams coming off losses in their opening game and needing a win to help avoid an early exit from the tournament, the game between Hungary and Germany was closely contested. With just under five minutes to go in the first period, forward Kerstin Spielberger took the puck along the boards into the Hungarian zone, gaining enough space from the defender for a centering pass to Michelle Lubbert. Following Lubbert’s goal Germany managed to overcome a trio of penalties to end the period up 1-0. But penalty trouble continued into the second period for the Germans. Katja-Lisa Engel was whistled for body-checking four and a half minutes into the frame, and on the ensuing power play Bernadett Nemeth’s shot from the point banged off the cross bar and into the net for the tying goal. And thanks to a great overtime effort from Huszak, Hungary is now in good position to remain in the top division and possibly even contest for a medal. This, for a team that had to go through the qualification tournament last year to play in the 2012 Division I tournament, and ended up winning it all.   Now, playing in the top division for the first time ever, the Hungarian ladies have a historic victory to truly savour. Click here for scores and stats

Sweden – Russia 4-5 (2-1, 1-1, 1-2, 0-1)

VIERUMÄKI – The Russian U18 women’s team came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat Sweden in overtime. The victory was the first ever by a Russian U18 women’s team over Sweden at an IIHF World Championship. Yelena Dergachyova scored the game-winning goal as her team bounced back from a 7-0 opening game loss to the United States to defeat the 2012 bronze medallists. The victory breathed new life into the Russian’s U18 campaign, as they now have a day of rest before an important game against the Czech Republic on New Year’s Day. Down 3-2 after the second intermission, Russia fell another goal behind when Sweden scored what looked to be the insurance goal early in the third period coming from Elin Johansson. But after killing off two penalties in a row, the Russians closed the gap to one goal when Anna Shokhina found Yekaterina Nokola for the score with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Following a timeout, it was Shokhina’s turn to find the back of the net, scoring the tying goal with 1:34 left in the game, setting up overtime and Dergachyova’s goal, her second of the game. The loss drops Sweden to 1W-1L, with a tough game coming up against 2012 silver medallists USA.

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Canada – Finland 4-0 (2-0,2-0,0-0)

HEINOLA – Defending champion Canada is undefeated through two games at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. Catherine Dubois scored two goals as the Canadians defeated Finland 4-0. Emily Clark and Hanna Bunton rounded out the score sheet for Canada, while goaltender Kimberley Newell held the Finns without a goal through three periods. Canada’s defenders held Finland to only ten shots on net, while managing 35 on the other end. Defenceman Catherine Daoust was chosen as the game’s Best Player for Canada.

The loss puts Finland at 1W-1L for the tournament with a key game upcoming against Hungary, which won earlier in the day against Germany after losing the opener to Canada. Canada will take on winless Germany on New Year’s Day in Vierumäki.

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Czech Republic – USA 0-10 (0-5, 0-2, 0-3)
HEINOLA – The United States continued its dominant start to the 2013 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, steamrolling the Czech Republic 10-0 in its second game. For the second game in a row the U.S. got point production from all four lines. Forwards Taylar Cianfarano, Amy Menke, and Kelly Pannek each got a pair of goals, and defenceman Maddie Rolfes chipped in two assists, earning Best Player honours. The Americans opened with a five-goal first period, Menke scoring the first two minutes into the game on a power play. Cianfarano and Megan Wolfe added two more in the second period, Cianfarano scoring again in the third to put her at five points in two games. Pannek’s goal and a power play marker from Baylee Wellhausen rounded out the scoring for the Americans. The United States (2W-0L) now has outscored the opposition 17-0 through two games, and looks primed for another gold medal run. The Americans will take on Sweden on Tuesday, while the Czechs will be looking to avoid the relegation round in their third game against Russia.   Click here for scores and stats ADAM STEISS
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