Mills thrills in Czech win
by Lucas Aykroyd|09 APR 2019
Captain Alena Mills (left) was named the Czech Republic's Player of the Game in the 2-0 win over Germany at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Czech Republic captain Alena Mills scored two second-period goals two minutes apart, and that was all it took for her team to finish atop Group B with a 2-0 win over Germany on Tuesday.

“It's because I have good teammates and we are a really good team!” said Mills.

In Thursday’s quarter-finals, the Czechs, who have won four straight games in regulation time, will face the loser of the Canada-Finland game. The Germans will face the winner of that game.

“We’re not surprised we did so well in Group B, because we tried to be better from game to game,” said German goalie Ivonne Schroder. “We just wanted to make it to the quarter-finals.”
Czech Republic vs. Germany - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship
CZE GER 09 APR 2019
The Czechs were full value at both ends of the ice for the victory. They outshot Germany 37-10, including a 10-0 gap in the third period, despite taking two late minors. The Germans struggled more with discipline than the victors, taking 14 minutes in penalties to the Czech Republic’s 10.

In this battle of backup goalies, the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Blahova recorded her first career Women’s Worlds shutout. The 2000-born Blahova was on the 2017 Women’s Worlds roster but did not play.

“We reached the goal, which was to stay in the top division,” said Schroder, who was named her team’s Best Player. “We’re now in the quarter-final, which is positive. We won our first games, but now we’ve had two losses in a row. So now we have to come back to the wins.”

Mills (nee Polenska) opened the scoring on the power play with her first goal of the tournament at 13:07, set up by Aneta Tejlarova and Klara Hymlarova. The Agidel Ufa forward, who first donned the Czech “C” in 2011-12, then added an unassisted goal at 15:07.

“We have a great group of girls,” Mills said. “We have great team chemistry, so anytime someone gets tired or there is a bit of negative energy, someone picks it up and says, ‘Hey, let’s get going.’”

This is the fourth top-division appearance for the Czechs. They came sixth in 2016 and eighth in 2013 and 2017. Will their exceptional consistency so far lead them to a quarter-final upset and an even better finish? Let’s wait and see on Thursday.
Czech Republic vs. Germany - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship