Day 3: WW-I-A
by Andrew Podnieks|21 AUG 2023
Not many people would have thought Austria would win their first two games, but their perfect record is thanks largely to goaltender Selma Luggin, who has yet to allow a goal. She has stopped all 59 shots she has faced.
photo: IIHF / CIHA
After playing on consecutive days to open the tournament, all teams get a well-earned day off before resuming a full slate of games on Wednesday. Here’s what’s going on as the tournament takes a brief pause.

Everyone is here representing their country, but there are plenty of players who know each other from various domestic leagues around Europe and in North America. Consider:
--Austria’s Emma Hofbauer and Norway’s Lotte Pedersen both play for AIK Stockholm in Sweden
--three nationalities are represented through another Swedish team, Brynas IF—Anna Meixner (AUT), Josefine Jakobsen (DEN), and Savine Wielenga (NED)
--Eagles Salzburg in Austria have players from both Austria (Hanna Schwarzer) and Netherlands (Zoe Barbier, Michelle van Ooijen)
--Norwich University, in Northfield, Vermont, competes in NCAA Division III and boasts both Marja Linzbichler (AUT) and Ingrid Berge (NOR)
--And then there is Rodivre in Denmark, home team for seven Danish players as well as Norway’s Karoline Pedersen, which will add excitement when the teams meet on the final day of the tournament
--Sodertalje in Sweden is also joint team for both Laura Leitner (AUT) and Silje Kongstorp (NOR)
--St. Lawrence University in New York state is where Xifang Zhang (Anna Segedi, CHN) and goalie Emma-Sofie Nordstrom (DEN) play
--And at the University of Vermont, Sofie Skott (DEN) and Theresa Schafzahl are teammates

Right You Are
Of all the goalies in Shenzen, only Tiya Chen (Tia Chan, CHN) catches with her right hand.

Experienced Ref
Miyuki Nakayama of Japan is here as a referee…and not for the first time! The 46-year-old began her career as a linesperson at the 2008 Women’s Worlds and worked the lines in 2009 and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She moved to refereeing soon after and worked her first top-level IIHF event in 2013 at the WW18. After one more WW18 two years later, she moved up to the senior level for the first time, at the 2016 Women’s Worlds. She has been there ever since, although she also worked the 2018 WW18. 

“C” What’s New (or Not)
The six captains at this year’s WW-I-A have a variety of experience as team leader:
AUT—Anna Meixner is in her second year
CHN—Baiwei Yu has been captain since 2012, although Rui Sun wore the “C" in 2013 and 2015
DEN—Nicoline Jensen takes over for Josefine Jakobsen, who is still with the team
NED—Savine Wielenga has been captain since 2018
NOR—Mathea Fischer is a first-year wearer of the “C”
SVK—Tatiana Korenkova is also a rookie captain

Happy Birthday to (only) You
There is only one player celebrating a birthday during the tournament. Silja Kongstorp of Denmark will turn 21 on 25 August.

There are two pairs of siblings enjoying the experience of playing the WW-I-A—Karoline and Lotte Pedersen (NOR) and Romana and Lucia Haluskova (SVK).

Crowds have been impressive, to say the least, at the Shenzen Universiade Centre. Through six games, a whopping 25,422 patrons have passed through the turnstiles, an average of 4,237 per game.

The two teams with the most experience are Denmark and China. Both teams played at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and the Danes also played at the 2022 Women’s Worlds. As a result, they would be the logical choices to earn promotion. But, of course, it’s the standings, not logic, that determine that!

One of the more special schools to send a player to this year’s tournament is an American high school—Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota. Frederikke Foss, the 18-year-old Dane, attends Shattuck. She follows a long line of famous players who have attended the elite prep school. Amanda Kessel, Sarah Murray, Amanda Kessel, Brianna Decker, and Alyssa Gagliardi all attended. 

UP NEXT: All teams are back in action on Wednesday, including Norway-Slovakia (13.00 local), Netherlands-Austria (16.30), and Denmark-China (20.00).