Kazakhs come out winning
by Martin Merk|07 OCT 2021
The Kazakh players put pressure on the Chinese Taipei net en route to a 7-1 victory.
photo: Diego Barbieri
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Kazakhstan had a strong start at the Olympic Pre-Qualification Round 2 Group G in Italy with a 7-1 victory against Chinese Taipei. Breanna Lynn Berndsen and Kendra Lynne Broad each scored two markers for Kazakhstan with five of the seven goals coming from Canada-born player from Kazakh club team Aisulu Almaty. Hsin-Ni Pan scored Chinese Taipei’s consolation marker.

Kazakhstan was not just the higher seeded team on paper but also tried to convert its position on the ice with a dominant performance outshooting their opponent 59-16.

“I’m really happy today because we won today. Thanks to all the girls who worked hard today,” said forward Malika Aldabergenova. “After this win we will work even harder to win this Olympic Qualification.”

The Kazakhs didn’t allow their opponents from the Far East many chances in the beginning, started with three power plays that Chinese Taipei survived but at 11:40 the Kazakhs used one of their many shots at equal strength. Larisa Sviridova sent a centring pass to Tatyana Koroleva, who opened the scoring.

Five minutes later Berndsen won a puck battle in the own zone, skated her way around the Chinese Taipei players and eventually sent off a shot from central position to make it 2-0. 62 seconds into the middle frame the Broad scored for a three-goal lead.

The Chinese Taipei players had their moment of joy at 10:40 when Hsin-Ni Pan joyfully celebrated her 3-1 marker. She and Hui-Chen Yeh were fastest in a counter-attack and after Yeh’s pass Pan brought her team on the scoreboard.

However, it was short-lived joy rather than a turnaround moment as three minutes later Nadezhda Filimonova restored the three-goal lead. Broad and Berndsen scored their respective second marker for a clear 6-1 verdict after 40 minutes of play.

“I think overall we did okay. There are definitely certain things we could do a lot better. The team was a little intimidated in the beginning and we started the second period a lot stronger than the first,” said Chinese Taipei goaltender Tzu-Ting Hsu, who made 52 saves.

“I could do a lot better than this. Last time I played an official game was in April. There’s a lot of polishing we need to do in our game to get better. But it’s a good experience for the team. It’s not every day we get to play against a team above our division so it’s a great chance for us.”

The third period was less lopsided but the only team that scored was Kazakhstan. At 7:29 Roxanne Rioux made it a 7-1 final score.

After a day off Kazakhstan will play Spain while Chinese Taipei will have a Saturday night meeting with host Italy.
Kazakhstan vs Chinese Taipei - 2022 Women's Final Olympic Qualification Group G