Finns edge Germany

WW18: Finland, Sweden win late; USA rolls

29.12.2012
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Emma Nuutinen (far left) scored two goals in the third period to spark Finland's 3-2 victory over Germany on home ice in the opening day of the IIHF U18 Women's World Championship Photo: Jana Chytilova / HHOF-IIHF Images

Germany – Finland 2-3 (0-0, 1-1, 1-2)

HEINOLA – Although the Germans did their best to spoil the party, Finland came out on top thanks to a game-winning goal from Emma Nuutinen with 32 seconds left in the third period. The victory gives the host team a win in their opening game of the tournament, ahead of a big matchup against defending champions Canada. 40 seconds into the third Germany went up 2-1, courtesy of a goal from Bernadette Karpf. The Germans then went on the defensive, relying on a strong effort from Franziska Albl, who turned away 49 of 52 shots in the game. But the team did not have an answer for Nuutinen, who scored her first goal of the game just over the halfway mark of the third, jumping on a loose puck that went through Albl’s legs. She then followed it up with the game-winning goal, sending the home crowd at Heinola arena into a frenzy. “I felt that I got more energy in the third and was able to help my team,” said Nuutinen. “When I got the puck and saw the goalkeeper I knew what to do and went to the backhand.” The Finns ran into penalty trouble in the opening period, and saw four players sent to the box. The undisciplined play from the hosts caught up to them early in the second frame, when German forward Kerstin Spielberger got the puck in the Finnish zone from Ann-Kathrin Voog, skated to the side of the net and flipped the puck up and over the glove of goaltender Eveliina Suonpaa for a power play goal. But Finland managed to strike back with just under four minutes remaining in the period thanks to a breakdown in front of the German net. With a scrum forcing German goaltender Franziska Albl out of position, forward Emmi Rakkolainen managed to get just enough of the puck to slip it into the side of the net for the equalizer. “It is disappointing because we were that close to going into overtime and saving at least one point for us,” said Germany head coach Maritta Becker. “But all in all the team worked really hard and that’s what we need to continue to do to stay in the top division.”

Finland will take on defending champions Canada in Heinola Sunday afternoon, while Germany will face top division newcomers Hungary in Vierumäki.

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Canada – Hungary 4-1 (1-0, 1-1, 2-0)

VIERUMÄKI – Canada overcame a stingy Hungarian squad to win its opening game 4-1. Cassidy Carels scored the deciding goal short-handed and Kristyn Capizzano was chosen as the game’s Best Player.

The Canadians opened the scoring with a goal from Ashleigh Brykaliuk near the end of the first period. Hungary tied the game courtesy of a marker from Tiffany Horvath, and threatened to take the lead when Canada was called for an interference penalty on Corie Jacobson.

“We needed to play as a team and not as individuals,” said Team Canada head coach Jim Fetter. “Through the first two periods we played a bit more individually but in the third we came together and started sharing the puck better.”

But Carels scored with her team on the penalty kill and in the third period forwards Eden Murray and Karly Heffernan put the game away with two scores coming just over two minutes apart at the outset of the third period.

Canada will go to Heinola on Sunday to face tournament hosts Finland, while Hungary will take on Germany in an important game for both teams, coming off losses in their opening games.  

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USA – Russia 7-0 (3-0, 1-0, 3-0) VIERUMÄKI – The United States came out and showed itself to be in mid-tournament form, blasting Russia for seven goals in a 7-0 shutout victory. The Americans got scores from several different players, initially jumping out to a 3-0 lead with goals coming from Sidney Morin, Megan Wolfe, and Maliya Rodgers. Taylar Cianfarano, Katherine Schipper, Danielle Cameranesi, and Jincy Dunne rounded out the scoring as the U.S. outshot the Russians 48-7. Schipper finished the game with a goal and two assists earning Best Player honours. The United States will play against the Czech Republic (0W-1L) next, while Russia will face Sweden (1W-0L).

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Sweden – Czech Republic 3-2 (1-1, 1-0, 1-1)

HEINOLA – Although the tournament is in Finland, it was Scandinavian neighbours Sweden who stole the show in the opening game of the 2013 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. The 2012 bronze medal winners overcame a late game comeback by the Czech Republic, scoring with 27 seconds left to win 3-2.

Forward Julia Lennartsson notched the game winner, which came after the Czechs tied the score at 2-2 with 1:36 left in the game. The puck went into the corner of the Czech zone, and forward Elin Johansson outskated the Czech defenceman to claim possession. She turned and made a cross ice pass onto the stick of an incoming Lennartsson, who fired it home past goaltender Klara Peslarova. “Amazing feeling,” said Lennartsson. “I just came off the bench and was skating hard to the net to get the rebound, I was surprised when the puck came directly to me but I just shot and didn’t think about it.” It was a heart breaking end for the Czech women, who scored the opening goal and fought back to tie the game in the dying moments. “You can never count them out,” said Team Sweden captain Michelle Lowenhielm. “They played well but we were able to get the key goal when we needed to.” The two teams traded goals in the opening period, the Czechs striking first 11:43 into the game when Swedish goaltender wasn’t able to control a shot and gave up the puck to forward Dominika Forejtova for the 1-0 lead. Sweden evened the score three minutes later with a goal three minutes later. Anneli Ekstedt got the puck behind the right post of the Czech goal and passed it to the front of the crease for Veronica Hummelgard, who scored the tying goal. Jennifer Tornhult broke the 1-1 deadlock early in the second period, scoring the go-ahead goal 14 seconds into a power play, with assists from Linea Hedin and Olivia Carlsson. Sweden looked to have the game sewn up in the third, but a slashing penalty on Hedin gave the Czech Republic a power play opportunity that led to the late goal from Tereza Vanisova. But, thanks to Lennartsson’s heroics, the game finished with a victory for Sweden. The Swedes will take on Russia in Vierumäki on Sunday, while the Czechs will be in tough against the 2012 silver medallists USA in Heinola.  

Click here for scores and stats ADAM STEISS
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