Japan-China 2 (April 10)
Japan 7 – China II 2
It was two future line-ups, Japan and China II to start the first IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia with both teams consisting of a mixture of senior and junior players. Japan’s roster had a lot of players continuing their games after the successful IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship in Chicago one week ago.
The opening goal for the tournament was scored only after a 1:16 of play with the Japanese team getting a rebound following a slapshot from the blueline. Being more controlled in their attacks, Japan was able to create the better opportunities outshooting their opponent 17-5 in the first period and getting three more goals to take a 4-0 lead before the intermission. Especially the line Yoneyama – Hirano – Shimozawa was hard to control with centre Yoneyama getting her hat trick within the first 15 minutes of play.
In the second period, Japan kept on controlling the game and the ice surface in their own defensive zone was barely touched for almost the entire first half of the period. At 28:01, Japan was penalized for hooking and allowed the Chinese to take more offensive stance on the powerplay and, at 29:06, to get their first goal of the tournament with a deflected shot. Despite getting 22 shots on the goal in the period, Japan was not able to get the puck past goalie Jia Dandan, leaving China II’s first marker the only one in the period.
In third period, Japan extended the score on a powerplay with a one-timer from in front of the goal and, only 23 seconds later, the Japanese made it 6-1 with a goal from Tomoe Yamane. One powerplay goal for China II at 52:51 and one a shorthander for Japan only 16 seconds later made it to the 7-2 final score.
Photos: Richard Wang