International Ice Hockey Federation

Czechs snatch QF spot

Czechs snatch QF spot

Kaltounkova goal edges out Finland

Published 09.01.2018 23:43 GMT+4 | Author Andy Potts
Czechs snatch QF spot
DMITROV, RUSSIA - JANUARY 9: The Czech Republic's Klara Jandusikova #13 and Laura Lerchova #16 celebrate after a second period goal against Finland during preliminary round action at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The Czech Republic confirmed its quarter-final place with a tense 3-2 victory over Finland, topping Group B and sending Germany to the relegation round.

It was win or bust for the Czech Republic in its quest for a quarter-final place. Germany’s victory against Switzerland in the afternoon game meant that only a victory over the undefeated Finns would give the Czechs a shot at chasing a medal rather than scrapping against relegation.

And Kristyna Kaltounkova came up with the decisive goal, forcing the puck home from a scramble in front of the Finnish net after Magdalena Erbenova’s shot at the start of the third period. That put the Czechs up for the third time in the game, and this time Pavel Zuziak’s team held on to its lead and secured a win that lifted it to top spot in the group.

With so much at stake, the Czechs were perhaps too committed at the start of the game.  Erbenova and Natalie Mlynkova quickly found themselves on the wrong end of minor penalties, and Finland had a 5-on-3 advantage in the sixth minute. But the group leader could not take advantage of that chance and once the play settled down it was the Czechs who took the lead. Barbora Machalova got the goal, assisted by the team’s leading scorer, Kaltounkova.

The lead was short-lived, though, and Finland replied within a minute through Linnea Melotindos off a feed from Julia Liikala. The second period saw the teams trade two further goals. Klara Jandusikova made it 2-1 to the Czechs, but Finland replied on the power play through Nelli Laitinen.

That set the stage for Kaltounkova’s third goal of the tournament, her second game-winner and perhaps her most important so far.

The Czech victory sends it to a quarter-final match-up with Canada on Wednesday afternoon. Finland will take on Russia in the evening game. The Czech success also condemns Germany to a relegation round clash with Switzerland. The teams met earlier on Tuesday, and Germany’s 2-1 victory gave it hope of a QF spot of its own if Finland could win in the evening.

 

Back to Overview

Full Game