Winners of the Ice Hockey preliminaries on Day 2 include the Czech Republic and Switzerland among the women, and Russia and the US among the men.
It was another great day in the Ice Hockey event at Lillehammer 2016, with an exciting lineup of games for the ice hockey preliminaries. In the men’s round, rivals Russia and Canada went head to head in a close game, while the US thrashed the defending Youth Olympic champions Finland in the other. In the women’s preliminaries, the Czechs posted a strong start to their campaign by defeating Slovakia, as did Switzerland in its game against Sweden. Let’s have a closer look at the results.
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The Russians squeezed a narrow 4-3 win through Alexander Khovanov’s goal in the third, when he capitalised on a failed clearance by the Canadian defence. With this fourth goal, the Russians had to fend off a flurry of attacks as Canada looked to turn things around. And they nearly did, with two goals in the final five minutes from McShane and Burzan. The Russian keeper, however did very well, stopping 40 shots through the game and surviving the late scare.
Earlier in the game, Russia scored two goals quickly in the first period through Stokolov and Svechnikov. They defended their lead aggressively to maintain it going into the second period, in which Canada finally began attacking with intent and out-shooting the Russians 22-8. Although the Canadians managed to pull one back in the second through Ty Smith, they would be ruing stepping off the gas in the third period until the end. By that time, though, the Russians had scored two more, leaving Canada with too much to do in the time remaining.
In the other game for the men’s ice hockey preliminaries, the US convincingly beat Finland 4-1 for a resounding victory in their first match. The defeat for Finland would have been quite an awakening after they had thumped Norway 11-0 in an emphatic win on Day 1. However the US defence had an excellent game, shutting down Finland’s offence completely after Salonen scored their only goal. Todd Scott, the American goalkeeper, was in fine form himself, making a critical save right after the Finns scored their first. This killed their momentum, and the American offence managed to tie the game within the first period. They stepped things up in the second period, with goals from TJ Walsh and Christian Krygier to go 3-1 ahead. Tyler Weiss finished things off in the third with an amazing triple backhand deke, with the American defence holding their ground firmly to see off the game.
In the first game of the day’s women’s ice hockey preliminaries, the Czech Republic defeated Slovakia 2-1 to win their first game of the event of Lillehammer 2016. Their goalkeeper performed solidly throughout the game, and was well supported by the defence. Slovakia could manage only 14 shots throughout the game, but after the quick equaliser by Patricia Agostonova, the offence couldn’t do much more. The Slovakian goalkeeper was in great form herself, and did very well to cope with the over 30 shots on goal from the Czechs. It wasn’t her day, though as Mlynkova’s goal in the second period proved to be the winner.
Switzerland posted their first ever win in the event, when they managed a close 2-1 win over Sweden at the end of a 12-round shootout. Noemi Ryhner tucked away the winner after the defending champions’ forward, Sofie Lundin, missed her shot. The match prior to the shootout itself was quite evenly played. Both teams had 18 shots each on the other. Lundin scored for the Swedes about halfway through the first, and the Swedes managed to hold for most of the remaining game. About six minutes from the end, though, Switzerland’s captain Lisa Ruedi knocked home the equaliser through a pass from Rahel Enzler, forcing the shootout.
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