Sweden in controlled win over the Czechs among the women and the Americans resist Canada among the men at the Lillehammer 2016 Ice Hockey Finals.
The Ice Hockey event at this year’s Winter Youth Olympics at Lillehammer finally drew to a close on Sunday. The finals followed the ten playoff games played over the past week, and the semifinals on Friday. In the end, the Lillehammer 2016 Ice Hockey Finals lived up to their promise, with both champions winning deservedly in excellent match-ups.
In the men’s finals, the US won their first ever gold in Ice Hockey at the Youth Olympics, defeating rivals Canada in a 5-2 win. Sweden successfully defended its gold from the last Winter YOG at Innsbruck with an excellent 3-1 win over the Czech Republic, not giving their opponents many chances to exert themselves.
Sofie Lundin shone in Sweden’s fight for a second consecutive gold, scoring twice to repress the Czechs. The 16-year-old star forward was in brilliant form, moving smoothly, as she scored with a great backhand on a counter attack in the first, and a well-placed shot in the second to get back the lead. This was Sweden’s fifth consecutive win in the tournament.
The Czechs could not get a foot in with their attacks, and other than Lerchova’s equalizer from a rebound, weren’t allowed many chances. For Lundin, though, the stage was perfect as she finished third among the leading goalscorers, and is already making quite a name for herself.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 21, 2016
In the fight for the bronze, Switzerland rallied after their semifinal loss to the Czechs to win 5-2 against Slovakia. After an early stumble when the Slovaks scored early in the first period, the Swiss slowly upped the pressure to overwhelm their opponents. Rhyner starred for the eventual bronze medalists with a hat-trick, and Berta and Schlegel chipped in with a goal each to cap a solid performance by Switzerland.
The Lillehammer 2016 Ice Hockey Finals in the men’s tournament saw the US prevail over Canada to win their first ever Ice Hockey gold in the Youth Olympics. The American goaltender, Deridder was in tremendous form, crucially fending off a very late Canadian revival to keep his team on top. The American attackers played with great pace and took their chances very well to pile on the pressure on Canada. The Canadians, on the other hand, made things difficult for themselves with careless penalties, as they did in their semifinals against Finland, too. An interference by Woo shortly led to the Americans’ second goal through Deboer, strengthening their lead.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 22, 2016
The US were breathing down their necks virtually all game. Krygier restored the lead to 3-1 for the Americans near the end of the second, soon after Merkley had scored on a Canadian power play. McShane shot well to allow Canada some hope of a comeback in the third period. But it wasn’t to be, as DeRidder’s saved from point-blank range in the last couple of minutes. Two empty net goals were to follow in the final minute to underscore the American victory, after their 4-2 loss against the same team in the seventh playoff.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 21, 2016
In the men’s final for the bronze, Russia beat Finland 6-2 after falling behind within the first 30 seconds. The game opened up in the second period, with both scoring initially to bring the score to 2-2. However, Russia soon started pulling away late in the second, scoring two and adding two more in the third. In the end, Finland struggled with defensive errors, and were unable to overcome the Russians’ teamplay and some excellent keeping by Miftakhov.
Run through the results of all Ice Hockey games at Lillehammer 2016 at the official results page here. Also, don’t miss out on the highlights of the two excellent finals, as well as other matches at the official YouTube channel of the Olympics.
Don’t hesitate in sharing your thoughts and analyses in our comments section below.