Germany defeats Italy, keeps Olympic hopes alive
by Adam Steiss|13 NOV 2021
Germany needs help from Denmark to keep its Olympic hopes alive 
photo: Linda Maier

Germany took care of business in its second game of the Womens’ Final Olympic Qualification Group D, defeating Italy 4-1 to remain in contention for an Olympic spot.

Forward Lily Welcke scored a goal and added a couple of assists as the Germans outshot Italy 39-11. 

"We stayed calm and just played out game, focused on our style," said Welcke. 

Both teams came into the game badly needing a victory after coming out of their opening matchups without a point in the three-game tournament.

The Germans especially were smarting from their 3-0 shutout at the hands of Austria, having come into the tournament as the highest-ranked team and the favourites to win on home ice. They would need a win agianst Italy, and avoid a regulation victory by the Austrians against Denmark in the late game to have a chance to reach the Olympic Games.

"Whatever happens tonight, we will do what we can do tomorrow and play our best to win the game," said Nicola Eisenschmid. 

Germany started fast with a goal less than five minutes into the games. After defenceman Tabea Botthoff blocked a clearing attempt from Italy’s Amie Varano, the loose puck came to Tanja Eisenschmid. She passed it off to her sister Nicola Eisenschmid, who slotted it home stick-side past goalie Elisa Biondi for the 1-0 lead.

The Italians answered early in the second frame, when during an Italian power play Germany’s Laura Kluge attempted to get the puck out of the German zone but had it blocked near the blue line. Defenceman Nadia Mattivi pounced on the puck and got a shot off against Albl. Albl made the initial save but could not collect the rebound and Chelsea Furlani was there to clean up, tying the game and giving Italy its first goal of the tournament.

But the Germans would go back on top midway through the second. Italy cleared the puck out of its zone where it was collected near the German blue line by German captain Julia Zorn, who then made a fantastic pinpoint pass right onto the stick of Lilli Welcke, setting her off on a breakaway where she finished the play with a forehand deke to go up 2-1.

Welcke together with Nicola EIsenschmid would later combine to set up Marie Delarbre for an insurance score, and Katerina Jobst-Smith added another in the third period as Germany improves to 1W-1L.

With the victory, Germany keeps its hopes for Olympic qualification alive, pending the results fo the late game betwee Austria and Denmark. Tomorrow the Germans play the Danes on the final day of the tournament, while Italy takes on Austria.

Italy vs Germany - 2022 Women's Final Olympic Qualification Group D