Division I Gold Medal
Croatia – Austria 0-5 (0-2, 0-2, 0-0, 0-1)
Austria won its second straight Division I Inline Hockey gold medal after shutting out Croatia, 5-0. Croatia, which has been the fairy tale team at this year’s championship, finally ran out of magic, and had to settle for the silver medal.
The Croatians, playing in their first Inline Worlds since getting relegated in 2006, were long shots to be playing for a medal of any color at this year’s event. But the team showed spirit in the playoff round and pulled off upsets against Brazil and Hungary to earns its berth in the golden game.
Austria, fresh from the top division, left nothing to chance and didn’t allow the Croatians to spend much time in the offensive zone. The stingy Austrian defense effectively shut down Croatia, giving up only 16 shots the entire game. On the other side of the floor, the Austrians conservatively and slowly built up a lead. Mario Altmann scored 45 seconds into action, and he followed up with the 2-0 power-play goal five minutes later.
It took more than 15 minutes for the Austrians to build the lead as they netted another pair of goals late in the first half to go into the break with a 4-0 advantage. Defense continued to rule in the second half as only one goal was the scored, the 5-0 marker from Thomas Auer with 6:20 left in regulation.
Bernhard Starkbaum earned the shutout in net, while Tihomir Filipec stopped 19 of the 24 shots he faced.
Division I Bronze Medal
Australia – Hungary 5-6 (1-5, 0-0, 2-0, 2-1)
Hungary earned its fifth medal at the Inline Hockey World Championship after taking home the bronze with a 6-5 win against Australia.
Australia got off to a rocky start, but after swapping goaltenders, staged a comeback and had the Hungarians sweating through the final whistle.
Hungary erupted with five goals in the first quarter to take the commanding 5-1 lead. Szilard Sandor scored twice in the dominant start. Hungary had just seven shots in the period, leaving Australian goaltender Gabriel Robledodelabarra with only two saves. After the slow start Robledodelabarra was taken out in favor of Jeremy Muir, who fared much better, holding the Hungarians scoreless until the fourth quarter.
Muir’s performance allowed Australia to mount its comeback. The Aussies slowly chipped away at the lead, netting two goals in the third quarter to make it a two-goal game. Zoltan Revak scored the first Hungarian goal in 30 minutes to give his team a 6-3 advantage, but again Australia was there to cut into the lead when Pater Matus put in his second goal.
Dean Dunstan made the finale a nail biter when he scored the 6-5 goal with 43 seconds left. The Aussies called the timeout and pulled Muir for the extra skater. Despite a few good chances, including a solid shot with five seconds left, Australia ran out of time and couldn’t get the equalizer.
It is the third time in the last four years that Australia has lost the Inline bronze medal game. For Hungary, the medal is its first since taking bronze in 2007.
Final Division I Placement
5. Great Britain