USA off to semis

Russia drops Hungary to relegation round

26.03.2014
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Taylar Cianfarano had a hat trick and now has six goals in three games. Photo: Mika Kylmaniemi


BUDAPEST – The United States will join Canada in the semi-finals after dispatching Sweden 7-0. Taylar Cianfarano had a hat trick in the victory and was selected as the Player of the Game for Team USA.

USA – Sweden 7-0 (1-0, 4-0, 2-0)

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“We’re looking forward to the time off and then getting back out there on Saturday,” said Cianfarano. “We started a little nervous I think today but after that wore off we were able to get pucks in the net and play our game.”

“She’s been a great player for us last year and now this year,” said head coach Jeff Kampersal. “She can really shoot the puck, she’s very accurate and has a very heavy shot.”

Cianfarano got her team’s first goal of the game, popping the waterbottle off the Swedish goal late in the opening period with a wristshot on a two-on-one. But it wasn’t until the second period that the U.S. offence kicked into high gear. Maliya Rodgers scored two minutes in then was followed up by Alexandria Laing, who snapped a wristshot past Julia Aberg.

Sweden’s offence has stalled in the last two games, generating just one goal in the last two games. U.S. goaltender Erin O’Neill only had to face ten shots in the game from the Swedes.

“It makes it so much easier for me when (my defencemen) do such a great job keeping everything on the outside and playing man-to-man,” said O’Neill.

Minutes later Sophie Skarzinsky got her second goal of the tournament, putting up the U.S. 4-0 in the process. Cianfarano added to the flood of second period goals for the U.S. thirty seconds later, and before Sweden could blink the score was 5-0 going into the third period. Cianfarano completed her hat trick after USA pulled its goalie late in the third in an attempt to get seven goals, which gives them home ice designation via goal differential should the team make it to the gold medal game.

With the win the United States will get an automatic bye to the semi-final round. Sweden will face the Czech Republic in the quarter-final round.

Russia – Hungary 3-1 (1-1, 2-0, 0-0)

BUDAPEST – Russia advances to the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship quarter-final with a 3-1 win over host Hungary and will play Finland tomorrow.

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Hungary started the game by shocking everyone in attendance at the Budapest Icecenter when Tifani Horvath launched the puck over Russian goaltender Nadezdha Morozova’s left shoulder, scoring her country’s second goal of the tournament and bringing the home crowd to its feet two and a half minutes into the game.

Russia knotted things up at 12:32 with a shot from Maria Bodrikova from the high slot that snuck in beside the pad of Aniko Nemeth. But despite the goal Hungary kept up the pressure in the Russian zone, producing more than a few quality scoring chances but failing to get any more pucks in the net prior to the end of the period. 

Russia edged ahead of the Hungarians early in the second frame with a gritty scoring effort from Nina Pirogova. Then three minutes later Anna Shokhina scored off a rebound to give the Russians a 3-1 lead and some breathing room in the game.

Russia held on in the third period and will now advance to the playoff round, assured at least of a better result than last year’s debacle that saw the team finish in seventh place and play in the relegation round. Hungary will face Japan in a best-of-three relegation round series to decide who will move down to Division I next year.
ADAM STEISS

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