WW1A: Advantage France and Norway ahead of final day
by Henrik MANNINEN|27 APR 2024
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
France, Norway, and Hungary will battle it out for promotion at the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship Division I Group A in Klagenfurt, Austria

Following results on day four, France tops the table with 10 points, followed by Norway with 9 and Hungary with 8 points. 

In the enticing final round of games on Saturday, Norway opens versus relegated Korea, then Hungary will go head to head with France before Austria takes on the Netherlands.

The top-two placed teams move up to play at the 2025 IIHF Women´s World Championship in Ceske Budejovice.

France 5 - Korea 0

photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
The best defense is a good offense. Blueliners Lucie Quarto potted a double and Lea Villiot scored once as France sent Korea straight back to Division 1B. Anae Simon and Lisa Cedelle also tallied for France who will play Hungary in their final game.

Korea, the new kid on the block arriving up to this division, entered day four with a 0-3 record and was forced to get at least a point out of this game to cling on to any slender hopes of staying put.

Instead, Do-yun Kim´s team got off to a nightmare. With only 65 seconds played, Margot Huot Marchand and Emma Nonnenmacher blocked the view of Korea netminder Jongju Park as defender Quarto fired a wrister as France went ahead with her first goal in WW play.

Just 45 seconds later, the Koreans were in a deeper hole. Winning the battle with blueliner Selin Kim, France´s Simon charged towards the Korean net to bag France´s second forcing home a rebound after Park spilled her initial effort.

Korea enjoyed their first prolonged stint in France´s end midway into the first frame. But as the teams stepped out for the second period, France was once again switched on to convert early. Capitalising on a powerplay spilling over from the end of the first frame, Villiot unleashed a wrister from close range high into the net on a Clara Rozier feed from down low at 20:51.

Park had been replaced with Hyoseo Cheon in the Korean net by the time France added their fourth early in the final period. Estelle Duvin picked out Quarto who scored her second of the afternoon from the top of the right face-off circle when burying a wrister into the top corner on Cheon´s blocker side. France´s Margaux Mameri enjoyed a shoutout in her third start of the tournament as Cedelle closed the scoring at 46:29 with an audacious tip from close range from a shot by Gabrielle de Serres.

Netherlands 0 - Norway 1 SO

photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
Eight months ago Norway came tantalisingly close to falling out of this division. Now the Scandinavians are on the verge of an upward exit and sealing promotion. Relegated Korea stands in the way tomorrow for Andre Lysenstoen´s coached team.

Edging the Netherlands on day four marks Norway´s third straight shootout win of the tournament. They remain the only undefeated team in Klagenfurt.

Norway´s Emilie Kruse and Mathea Fischer kept their cool to convert their penalties in the shootout. Ena Nystrom recorded her first shutout of the tournament.

In her 13th World Championship for Norway, Andrea Dalen came close when hitting the post twice in regulation time. Maree Dijkema could have won it for the Netherlands with a minute of a half remaining before overtime ensued.

Norway´s biggest victories have come in a couple of 14-0 blowouts versus the Dutch in 1989 and 1991. But by last season´s WW1A in China´s Shenzhen, they had been overtaken by the Dutch. Marco Kronenburg´s team then rallied back to beat Norway 6-3 in a tournament where the team in orange missed out on promotion with only one goal.

In this year´s duel between the two teams, the Dutch were outshot 22-32 with Eline Gabriele enjoying an inspired afternoon in the Dutch goal for a shutout. The Netherlands will now lock horns with Austria for fourth spot in the closing game of the tournament.

Austria 3 - Hungary 2 SO

photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
In front of a boisterous crowd of 2279 at the Heidi Horten Arena, Anna Meixner backhanded Austria´s winner in the shootout to complete an Austrian fightback versus neighbours Hungary.

In the five-round shootout, Anja Trummer had Austria's other goal, while Regina Metzler got one for Hungary.

The Hungarians had stamped their authority right from the outset. On the first powerplay of the game, they needed just 11 seconds to cash in.

Franciska Kiss-Simon´s pass from the right boards was re-directed into Austria´s net by Mira Seregely after 2:36.

Continuing to torment their neighbours, blueliner Bernadett Nemeth´s effort from the point sailed over Austria´s netminder Magdalena Luggin as Hungary went two up just after the six-minute mark.

Having weathered the initial Hungarian storm, the Austrians roared back and got back into the game. Heading into the final minute of the first period, Annika Fazokas burst through in the slot to get Austria on the board with 51 seconds left of the period with her fourth goal of the tournament.

In a flash, the Hungarians suddenly appeared human in defence. From down low Leonie Kutzer picked out Lena Artner in the slot who reacted ahead of Tamara Gondos to draw level with 26 seconds left before the first intermission.

Following a goalless middle frame, Hungary came out in the final frame in dominant form. First Metzler was through on a one-on-one, then came a one-timer effort from Alexandra Huszak before Boglarka Bahiczki-Toth was through on goal, but netminder Magdalena Luggin kept them all at bay in only her second start at this level.

For the Austrians Theresa Schafzahl had come close with a backhanded effort in the final frame and then in overtime, Tamara Grascher hit the crossbar late on.