International Ice Hockey Federation

Germany edges the Czechs

Germany edges the Czechs

Welcke's overtime strike wins it

Published 10.01.2018 10:05 GMT+4 | Author Andy Potts
Germany edges the Czechs
DMITROV, RUSSIA - JANUARY 7: Germany's Tabea Botthof #3 and Franziska Brendel #13 celebrate after a first period goal against the Czech Republic during preliminary round action at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images)
After going down 4-1 in its opening game, Germany recovered to pick up a valuable overtime victory against the Czechs and give itself a chance of progressing.

Germany bounced back from an opening game defeat to edge the Czech Republic in overtime.

It took a big effort from goalie Johanna May to deny the Czechs: her 37 saves kept Germany in contention despite some intense pressure from a team looking to wrap up a quarter-final place.

The Germans were unable to produce anything like as much offence for themselves, but managed to take the big chances when necessary. Within two minutes, they had the lead. An early Czech penalty received maximum punishment when Tabia Botthof’s shot from the blue line was touched into the net by Celina Haider right in front of goalie Krisyna Blahova.

That prompted a Czech surge: for the rest of the first period and the whole of the second, the team pressed for a goal. But from 28 shots at May, only one found its target when Martina Exnerova tied it up in the 33rd minute.

In the final frame, with both teams aware of the cost of any error, was more even but could not produce a decisive goal. Instead, it took overtime to separate the teams and the Germans gained a crucial edge when Czech forward Kristyna Kaltounkova took a minor penalty for hooking. It took 33 seconds to convert the power play, with Franziska Klinger’s angled pass reaching Luisa Welcke for the finishing touch.

This afternoon's result means that Finland can guarantee its place in the quarter finals with victory over Switzerland in Sunday's second game.

 

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