Category: Tournaments (Page 1 of 16)

Agidel lost to Vanke Raise, SKIF beat the Chinese national team

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

 The final games of the international pre-season WHL Open Cup tournament.

In the opening game of the day, SKIF beat the Chinese national team (2: 1). The Nizhny Novgorod team guaranteed second place in the tournament.

In the final game of the tournament, Agidel played against KRS Vanke Rays. The game became the first meeting after the postponed final series of the playoffs of the 2020/2021 season, as well as a rehearsal for the opening game of the 2021/22 season. KRS Vanke Rays beat Agidel 5-2.

SKIF – China  2: 1 (1: 0, 1: 0, 0: 1)

1: 0 – Prokopenko (Goncharenko, Provorova), 05:22
2: 0 – Starovoitova (Prokopenko, Teiralova), 27:13
2: 1 – Yui (Fan), 48:13

Agidel – KRS Vanke Rays 2: 5 (1: 1, 0: 0, 1: 4)

1: 0 – Pyrkova (Sosina), 00:56
1: 1 – Llanes (Wong), 11:21
1: 2 – Cogan (Kava), 44:29, IB
1: 3 – Cogan (Kava), 49:24
1: 4 – Karvinen, 49:53
1: 5 – Kogan (Karvinen, Kava), 54:04, IB
2: 5 – Sosina, 58:30

Best players:

The best goalkeeper – Valeria Merkusheva (SKIF)

Best Defender – Samantha Cogan (KRS Vanke Rays)

Best Forward – Michelle Karvinen (KRS Vanke Rays)

you can check Video and Standings at  WHL Open Cup

Vanke Rays beat SKIF thanks to Karvinen’s 2 Goals, China won their first Game

By George Da Silva – National teams of Ice Hockey

The results of Saturday’s games saw China shock the Russian U18 team by a score of 3-2.

Xin Fang scored the winning goal in the 3rd period. China now moves into 4th place while the Russian U18 will finish in last place with 1 point.

China – Russia (U-18) 3: 2 (1: 0, 0: 1, 2: 1)

Goals:

1: 0 – Lam (Fairman, Barry), 16:12
1: 1 – Nuyaksheva, 29:23
2: 1 – Segedi (Nethlon), 44:31
3: 1 – Fang (Pi), 53:22
3: 2 – Sviridova (Smurova, Nesterova), 57:36

The second game was a battle for first place, the KRS Vanke Rays beat SKIF 3-1. Two goals by Michelle Karvinen .- the winning goal and a empty netter at the end of the 3rd period

The victory in regulation time allowed the Chinese team to win the WHL Open Cup ahead of schedule.

At the end of three game, the Chinese team has 9 points and guaranteed itself first place in the WHL Open Cup. SKIF retains the opportunity to catch Vanke Rays in terms of points, but will remain second due to the result of head to head meeting.

SKIF – KRS Vanke Rays 1: 3 (1: 1, 0: 1, 0: 1)

Goals:

1: 0  – Goncharenko (Falyakhova, Bratischeva), 04:46 IB
1: 1 – Lam (Houston, Mills), 13:08 IB
1: 2 – Karvinen, 26:35
1: 3 – Karvinen, 59:31, EN

On Friday September 17th saw one game Agidel beat the Russian youth team in overtime.

Agidel – Russian (U-18) 3: 2 OT (0: 0, 1: 0, 1: 2; 1: 0)

Goals:

1: 0 – Batalova (Lutsak-Chupkova), 26:11

1: 1 – Nesterova, 41:21

1: 2 – Landyreva (Nesterova), 52:14

2: 2 – Batalova, 56:23

3: 2 – Pechnikova, 64:10

you can check Video and Standings at  WHL Open Cup

Vanke Rays Back to Back Wins, SKIF defeated Agidel

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

SKIF and Kunlun became the leaders of the WHL Open Cup.

The Vanke Rays beat the Russian U18 and Chinese national team on consecutive days with a scores of 6-1 & 4-2. Michelle Karvinen notched 2 goals against the Russian youth team while Cassie Betinol scored 2 goals for the Chinese national team against Vanke Rays.

SKIF defeated Agidel by a large score of 6-1 keeping them in first place with 6 points.

Vanke Rays – Russian national team (U-18) 6: 1 (3: 0, 0: 0, 3: 1)

Goals:

1: 0 – Lam (Thyssen), 10:15

2: 0 – Kawa (Wu), 11:40

3: 0 – Karvinen (Kava), 19:52

4: 0 – Costales (Llanes, Mills), 49:55

5: 0 – Kawa (Wong, Nordin) 51:28

5: 1 – Larshina (Kuznetsova), 59:26

6: 1 – Karvinen (Nordin), 59:35

Vanke Rays – China 4: 2 (2: 0, 1: 1, 1: 1)

Goals:

1: 0 – Kava, 17:40

2: 0 – Houston (Belyakova, Wong), 18:17

3: 0 – Wu (Karvinen), 28:45

3: 1 – Betinol (Wong, Ji-Xin), 33:43

3: 2 – Betinol (Byway, Lam) 47:57

4: 2 – Llaness (Nordin), 56:48

Agidel – SKIF 1: 6 (1: 3, 0: 0, 0: 3)

Goals:

0: 1 – Falyakhova (Starovoitova), 5:41

1: 1 – Lutsak-Chupkova (Sosina, Mikaelyan), 11:58

1: 2 – Smolina (Garipova, Falyakhova), 17:13

1: 3 – Bratischeva (Smolina), 19:57

1: 4 – Smolin, 42:42

1: 5 – Prokopenko (Teiralova) 44:11

1: 6 – Bratscheva (Starovoitova, Falyakhova), 46:30

you can check Video and Standings at  WHL Open Cup

Agidel defeated China Women, SKIF defeated Russia U-18 In the WHL Open Cup

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Results of the games on day one.

On August 14, the WHL Open Cup started.  In day one of the tournament  two games took place.

The Russian national team U18 vs SKIF and Agidel vs the Chinese women’s national team.

The last time the Chinese women played was in November of 2019.

Agidel – Chinese national team 6: 1 (4: 0, 2: 0, 0: 1)

Goals:

1: 0 – Luchnikova (Lutsak-Chupkova), 00:23

2: 0 – Pyrkova (Luchnikova), 01:38

3: 0 – Rodnova (Mitrofanova), 06:37

4: 0 – Luchnikova (Pyrkova, Lutsak-Chupkova), 18:03

5: 0 – Korzhakova (Mikaelyan, Rodnova), 26:56

6: 0 – Korzhakova (Luchnikova), 30:51

6: 1 – Fan (Yu, Zhao), 40:18 IB

Russian national team U-18 – SKIF 0: 3 (0: 1, 0: 1, 0: 1)

Goals:

0: 1 – Kulishova (Goncharenko, Falyakhova), 18:43

0: 2 – Nadezhdina (Likhacheva), 21:28 IB

0: 3 – Nadezhdina (Ananyina), 43:11

you can check Video and Standings at  WHL Open Cup

Dynamo-Neva will not take part in the WHL open Cup

Source: KRS Vanke Rays

Changes in the number of the participants and the schedule of the pre-season tournament in Sochi.

On September 14th-19th the city of Sochi will host the international pre-season WHL Open Cup tournament. Dynamo-Neva will not take part in it.

Five teams will play in the tournament: Agidel, SKIF, the Russian national team (U18), the Chinese national team and KRS Vanke Rays. It will be a round robin tournament,  teams will play once against each other. Thus, the participants will play four games. According to the results of the round-robin tournament, the winner and prize-winners of the tournament will be determined.

All the games will take place at the Iceberg Sports Palace training arena.

September 14
13:00.  Russian national team (U18) – SKIF
17:00.  Agidel – China national team

September 15,
17:00. KRS Vanke Rays – Russian national team (U18)

September 16 
13:00.  China national team – KRS Vanke Rays
17:00.  Agidel – SKIF

September 17

17:00.  Agidel – Russian national team (U18)

September 18
13:00.  Russian national team (U18) – China national team
17:00. SKIF –  KRS Vanke Rays

September 19
13:00. SKIF – China national team
17:00. Agidel – KRS Vanke Rays

Finns shine at Summer Showcase

Finland’s Aatu Raty, who had three points at the 2020 World Juniors but wasn’t selected to play in 2021, topped the points parade at the latest World Junior Summer Showcase

By Lucas Aykroyd – IIHF.com

Boom! Finland’s Aatu Raty answered his critics by leading the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan with 14 points in six games.

The renaissance of the 18-year-old Karpat Oulu centre was a major storyline at the tournament at USA Hockey Arena, which featured U.S. White and Blue squads battling Finland and Sweden’s top U20 prospects (24 to 31 July). The Finns dominated under coach Antti Pennanen, winning five of their six games with a 26-19 goal difference.

Raty was once deemed a top contender to become the #1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, an honour that instead went to defenceman Owen Power (Buffalo Sabres). Raty fell to the second round, where the New York Islanders took him 52nd overall. The 185-cm, 82-kg talent, who had two goals and an assist as a 17-year-old World Junior debutant in 2020, failed to make the 2021 team altogether.

Raty’s dazzling hands and anticipation also benefited 19-year-old linemate Roni Hirvonen, who wore the “C” for Finland. Hirvonen, who chipped in six points when the Finns claimed the bronze medal in 2021, ran wild in Plymouth with eight goals – including two hat tricks – and two assists to finish second in Summer Showcase scoring. And Topi Niemela led all blueliners with six points and had a tournament-best +10 plus-minus rating.

Finland came into this event nicely warmed up after going undefeated in an exhibition series against the Czech Republic and Switzerland at Vierumaki (17 to 21 July).

Although a stacked USA Blue squad fell 4-2 to the Finns in the Summer Showcase finale on 31 July, there was plenty of reason for optimism for the host nation, which captured its fifth World Junior gold medal of all time in Edmonton back in January.

The Americans used 44 players on their split squads, whereas Finland and Sweden had between 26 and 28 players apiece. Returning U.S. head coach Nate Leaman has some interesting decisions to make between now and the 2022 World Juniors.

“Both the Finns and Swedes are really good teams,” Leaman told USAHockey.com. “We’re getting hard competition, really good evaluations of our guys to see how they’re going to stack up against the best competition.”

Leaman will likely get to ice five 2021 returnees: Brett Berard, Brock Faber, Tyler Kleven, Jake Sanderson and Landon Slaggert.

Sanderson, picked fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2020, is expected to provide leadership and play big minutes as an all-around 19-year-old defenceman. Partnering with Luke Hughes, New Jersey’s #4 overall pick this year, Sanderson delivered four points at the Summer Showcase and generally performed well against the Finns. He’s a no-brainer.

Yet some U.S. newcomers could also be impactful.

Thomas Bordeleau was unfortunately ruled ineligible to play at the 2021 World Juniors due to COVID-19 exposure protocols. The Houston-born, Bern-trained centre from the University of Michigan led all Americans with seven points in four Summer Showcase games (2+5=7).

While a knee surgery and illness denied National Team Development Program sniper Chaz Lucius a chance to strut his stuff at the U18 Worlds in Texas in April, he contributed a pair of goals in three games in Plymouth. He’s an intriguing name to watch.

Leaman also singled out forward Matthiew Knies as a pleasant surprise. The University of Minnesota forward, drafted in the second round by the Toronto Maple Leafs (57th overall), showed good hustle and offensive savvy in his three Summer Showcase games (2+3=5).

Meanwhile, Sweden is still working out the kinks. The Juniorkronorna ended on a good note with a 7-1 romp over USA White, but had lost five straight games before that.

Coach Tomas Monten is aiming to author a comeback story in 2022 after he – along with multiple Swedish U20 players and fellow staff members – missed the 2021 tournament due to testing positive for COVID-19. Yet there’s clearly plenty of work to be done in terms of team-building over the next five months. Sweden is looking for just its third World Junior title of all time (1981, 2012).

One bright spot was the performance of Zion Nybeck. The 19-year-old HV71 forward, who helped Sweden capture its first U18 Worlds title ever in Ornskoldsvik in 2019, paced his Summer Showcase squad with three goals and two assists in five games. Nybeck was limited to one assist in five games in his 2021 World Junior debut.

Canada, naturally, was not idle, despite not taking part in this event due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 18-time World Junior champions – who settled for silver on home ice last year after winning gold in the Czech Republic in 2021 – invited 51 players to their own internal Summer Showcase in Calgary.

In the opening intrasquad game on 31 July, Cole Perfetti’s second-period power-play goal was the difference as Team Red beat Team White 4-2.

Perfetti, a top Winnipeg Jets prospect, was part of Canada’s silver-medal World Junior team. The nifty 19-year-old forward also scored two goals in the improbable 2021 IIHF World Championship run that saw the Canadian men rally to win gold in Latvia after dropping their first three games for the first time in tournament history. Canadian World Junior fans would love to see Perfetti driving the offence on home ice in 2022.

The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta (26 December 2021 to 5 January 2022).

Recap of Beijer Hockey Games & Kazakhstan Open

Recent World Juniors participant Zakhar Bardakov was among the young players on the Russian men’s national team in Malmo

By Andy Potts – IIHF.com

Russia marches on

For the third time this season, Russia beat all-comers in Euro Hockey Tour action, winning the Beijer Hockey Games in Malmo, Sweden, and securing top spot in the overall rankings for the season. The four-team event was played in a bubble, with everyone confined to a hotel next to the arena, and the competing countries sent experimental rosters to the behind-closed-doors tournament.

Elsewhere, there was success for Kazakhstan on home ice against Belarus and Russia B in the only other event to take place in men’s senior hockey during the February International Break due the pandemic.

Beijer Hockey Games

Russia continued its imperious form in this season’s Euro Hockey Tour, winning all three games in Malmo despite once again sending an experimental roster to the competition. As at November’s Karjala Cup, Russia was led by acting head coach Igor Larionov, who more usually works with the juniors. Unlike the event in Helsinki, the Russians were not limited to U20s and took the opportunity to test some older players whose KHL form pushed them into international contention.

However, the man who grabbed the headlines was Nikita Chibrikov. The SKA prospect celebrates his 18th birthday on Tuesday. His debut against Finland on Thursday made him the third youngest player every to represent Russia or the USSR in a men’s international – only Vladislav Tretiak and Alexander Ovechkin were younger when they made their debuts. The Moscow native consolidated his status as one of the top prospects for this year’s NHL draft by collecting a goal and two assists across three games: only Ovechkin was younger when he scored for Russia.

With only 12 KHL starts in his career to date and no major international tournament experience within his age group, Chibrikov was a surprise inclusion on the roster. But the man himself had no qualms about stepping into the red jersey for the first time.

“I have every faith in my ability. This doesn’t happen easily, I had to work hard to make the national team and I put in some good performances in the KHL,” he said after the game. “I didn’t bring any nerves onto the ice, I went out there with confidence that I could do good things for the team. I can’t lie, I was a bit surprised to get a call to the senior national team, but I put a lot of work in, tried to progress my game and so I think I deserved the chance.”

Russia performed well throughout the tournament but saved the best for last. In the third period against the Czechs on Sunday, the Red Machine racked up five goals on the way to a 7-4 victory. However, Larionov’s response was cautiously optimistic rather than euphoric.

“Any win in any tournament plays a big role, it’s important,” he said. “But I wouldn’t read too much into it. This is a big step in these guys’ careers. Three games in four days against strong opposition is a test of skill, character and resilience. Wins like this toughen up our players and make many more things possible. Hockey is a game that gives guys a chance to grow, and these are exactly the type of games that help us hope for a good future.”

Chibrikov wasn’t the only unfamiliar Russian to impress. Zakhar Bardakov, who featured in the recent World Juniors, made a strong contribution to the senior team. Against the Czechs, he had a goal and two assists, following on from a five-game goalscoring streak in the KHL this month. Vladimir Butuzov, who plays his club hockey for unheralded Amur Khabarovsk, tied the Czechs’ Michael Spacek for the tournament’s leading scorer with 4 (3+1) points. Lokomotiv’s Nikolai Kovalenko was also among the top scorers with three points as he led Russia’s recovery from 1-3 down against the Czechs on the final afternoon.

Sweden looks for more firepower

However, there was a shortage of Swedish names on the scoring charts – and a failure to capitalize on chances in the first period of the host nation’s shoot-out loss against Russia proved costly. Tre Kronor head coach Johan Garpenlov challenged the forwards on his inexperienced roster to take the ‘next step’ in the international game.

“We have goalscorers in the SHL, there are many who can score goals,” he said. “It’s about taking your game from your home environment up to this level. And it’s about the individual skill to take the chance when you get it.

“But we have a fairly inexperienced team here. It takes time to get used to [international hockey]. That’s the next step for many of these players.”

There was better news for the Swedes at the other end of the ice where rookie goalie Christoffer Rifalk produced a shutout on his international debut as Sweden blanked Finland 3-0 on Sunday evening.

That result left the Finns in third, edging in front of the Czechs thanks to a shootout win when the teams met on Saturday. The Czech Republic twice went to overtime without winning, then blew a two-goal lead against Russia in a frustrating few days for Filip Pesan’s team.

Kazakhs triumph on home ice

Kazakhstan hosted a four-team tournament with two Kazakh teams against Belarus and Russia B, with the host nation coming out on top in Nur-Sultan. Two goals from Barys forward Nikita Mikhailis – playing under his father, Kazakh head coach Yuri – settled a hard-fought battle against the Russians in Friday’s decisive match-up.

Exactly a year after an unexpected loss against Poland abruptly ended Kazakhstan’s Olympic qualification campaign, there were changes to the roster for this tournament at the same site. Long-serving dual nationals Nigel Dawes and Dustin Boyd did not feature, goalie Henrik Karlsson was also absent. There was also no place for veterans Talgat Zhailauev and Yevgeni Rymarev while the youthful likes of Daniyar Samat and Adil Beketayev featured on defence for the first time. 

“The whole team was the best player in this tournament,” Coach Mikhailis said. “This was a tight-knit, united roster. The players came from various clubs, there wasn’t much time to prepare. I’d like to thank the guys who came from the Kazakh championship, and to the clubs who released their leading players for this tournament. They showed up well and the whole team deserved this win.”

Earlier, both Kazakhstan and Russia proved too strong for a Belarus team preparing for its return to the World Championship top division in the spring. The Belarusians handed debut to two new players, goalie Danny Taylor and forward Francis Pare, both of whom have extensive KHL experience and currently represent Dynamo Minsk. However, the new faces could not lift Mikhail Zakharov’s team, with losses to Kazakhstan (2-5) and Russia (2-4) compounded by a shoot-out defeat against Kazakhstan B in an exhibition game.

Elsewhere, COVID-19 curtailed much of the international program. Casualties included the Kaufland Cup in Slovakia and the planned exhibition games between Germany and Switzerland in Fussen.

 

Russia wins Channel One Cup

By Henrik Lundqvist – Eurohockey.com

Russia won their home tournament of the Euro Hockey Tour. After beating Finland 5-1 today the Russians stayed undefeated.

After Czech Republic had beaten Sweden earlier today it was known that the winner of Russia and Finland would win the Channel One Cup. In case of overtime, Russia would win it since they had two points more than Finland in the standings. Russia took the lead in the first period when Vadim Shipachyov scored on a delayed penalty.

In the second period the show belonged to Dmitri Voronkov who scored 2-0 and 3-0 before Harri Pesonen scored the first and only Finnish goal on a breakaway after a mistake by Andrei Chibisov.

Russia added two goals late in the third period. Pavel Karnaukhov scored an empty-netter before Andrei Kuzmenko got his third goal of the tournament.

Czech Republic took many penalties in the first period against Sweden and Sweden took the lead on a PP goal by Jonathan Berggren. Czechs had the better team and score four unanswered goals by Radan Lenc, Matej Blümel, Daniel Gazda and Pavel Pycha.

Finland and Russia win in Moscow

By Henrik Lunqvist – Eurohockey.com

On the first day of the EHT tournament Channel One Cup in Moscow Finland beat Czech Republic and Russia beat Sweden in overtime.

In the first game of Channel One Cup Finland beat the Czechs 4-3. Finland got an early lead at 3:16 when Tony Sund approached the net from behind and put the puck past the Czech netminder Dominik Furch. Even if the game was close Finland was in the lead almost the entire game. Lukas Jasek tied it on a deflection at 12:10 in his first game for the national team but Finland regained the lead a few minutes later when Mikael Ruohomaa scored on a beautiful pass from Jere Karjalainen.

With a deflection Karjalainen then increased the lead two minutes into the middle period but just a few seconds later Dominik Lakatos fired a nice shot to make it 3-2. The Finnish power-play made the difference today and Otso Rantakari scored 4-2 with a heavy shot from the left wing with a man more on the ice. The Czechs got closer once again when Dmitrij Jaskin made it 4-3 from between the circles on a 2-man-advantage at 34:46 but the final 25 minutes of the game saw no more goals and Finland won the game.

The second game of the day was also a close one where Russia finally beat Sweden 4-3 after a shootout where Andrei Kuzmenko got the winner.

Sweden was in the lead twice. After a scoreless first period Pontus Åberg got his first goal for Tre Kronor with a bit of luck. The shot from Klas Dahlbäck touched a defender and then bounced off Åberg’s back past Alexander Samonov in Russia’s net. Andrei Kuzmenko tied it ten minutes later after a stunning passing combination with Ivan Morozov and Yegor Yakovlev.

Emil Pettersson took back the lead for Sweden at 46:36 but Nikita Soshnikov and Vadim Shipachyov scored in the middle of period three to take Russia ahead. Sweden tied it again with 4:27 remaining of regulation when Emil Larsson scored on a rebound.

After an overtime period with not much of action the game was decided in a shootout where Nikita Soshnikov and Andrei Kuzmenko scored for Russia while Emil Larsson got the only Swedish goal.

The tournament continues on Saturday with the games Finland – Sweden and Russia – Czech Republic

“Women’s Crowns” win Scandinavian summit

Michelle Lowenhielm scored Sweden’s overtime-winning goal against Denmark

By Martim Merk – IIHF.com

With the Women’s Euro Hockey Tour cancelled during the International Break for national teams in November, a spontaneous tournament of the three Scandinavian countries had the most to offer for fans of women’s ice hockey at the end of last week.

Traditionally Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden would have met in a four-team tournament last week or a Four Nations Cup be held with the North American teams and their top rivals from Europe. But 2020 is not a normal year and due to the global pandemic the teams decided not to meet for a tournament of that scale.

Many national team camps were therefore cancelled for men and women, senior and junior teams, while others held camps without games or tried to find alternatives in their neighbourhood. Born out of sheer necessity was a “Battle of Scandinavia” with the top Scandinavian countries facing each other.

This hasn’t happened often since Sweden used to play with the top nations. But since sensationally winning Olympic silver in 2006 with a semi-final win against the United States the team has developed from a medal contender to a team battling against relegation in the last few years. At the last Women’s Worlds in 2019 the impossible happened and Sweden’s “Women’s Crowns” (Damkronorna) were relegated from the top division – as first Swedish team in history and in any category.

With relegation the Swedish women’s team also lost its automatic entry at the next Olympics and has to go through a qualification tournament and due to the pandemic last spring it still has to wait for a chance to correct the mishap and earn promotion back to the top level.

At the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship the two relegated teams Sweden and France will be replaced by Hungary and Denmark. Therefore the three-nation tournament last week was a chance for Sweden (9th in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking) to prove on the ice whether they are still the number-one women’s ice hockey nation in Scandinavia in a rare clash against their western neighbours from Denmark (11th) and Norway (13th).

The first game held in Harnosand against Norway sent a clear message as six different players scored in a 6-0 win. Shots on goal favoured Sweden 40-9.

Denmark, the Swedes’ “replacement” at the next Women’s Worlds in Halifax, made it more difficult for the host country in front of 205 fans – almost a sell-out according to the attendance restrictions – in Sundsvall and were leading the game longer than their more famous, yellow-and-blue opponents despite being outshot 33-23.

At 15:18 Nicoline Jensen tied up a Swedish lead by Lina Ljungblom that had only lasted for 25 seconds.

The Danes also reacted fast after the first face-off of the middle frame. Josefine Persson gave the red-and-white team a lead after 24 seconds that stayed for most of the period. At 15:55 Josefin Bouveng tied it up on a 5-on-3 power play but less than two minutes later Persson scored again to give Sweden a 3-2 lead.

The Copenhagen native is one of eleven players on the Danish roster who plays here club hockey in Sweden. She moved over in 2015 and is currently with Lulea. Denmark’s Swedish coach Peter Elander, who led the Damkronorna during its better days including the historic Olympic silver medal in 2006, has become the bench boss for the Danish women’s national team last year.

In a hard-fought and balanced third period it was another Josefine who wrote the next chapter. At 12:50 Holmgren scored another power-play goal for Sweden to tie the game at three and 91 seconds into overtime Michelle Lowenhielm scored Sweden’s game-winning goal again on a power play.

In this game for Scandinavian honour the Swedes succeeded in good timing as they prepare for 2021, which shall be a year of the redemption for the Damkronorna. At the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A next spring in Angers the Swedes will play host France, Norway, Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands for promotion. In August they will host one of the Final Olympic Qualification groups where they will meet France and Slovakia (as well as a qualifier) again with the top team advancing to the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

While Denmark couldn’t beat their big rival head-to-head on ice, they can still enjoy their top-level status for the Women’s Worlds in Halifax and used this opportunity with a brave game against Sweden and a 4-0 win against Norway. Persson scored her tournament-leading third goal, Silke Glud netted two in the game.

In Halifax the Danes are seeded in the lower of the two-tiered groups and will play Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary. The top-three of the five teams will advance to the quarter-finals against the Group A teams while the last two will be relegated.

Good and bad news for Finland

Another Northern European country played its games at home with Finland. The lionesses played two male opponents, the under-18 teams of Assat Pori and JYP Jyvaskyla, and head coach Pasi Mustonen hoped to have games at a pace comparable to their top opponents in women’s hockey.

The camp started well with a 3-2 win against Assat after goals from Nelli Laitinen and Susanna Tapani in regulation time and Petra Nieminen and Michelle Karvinen in the shootout.

The day after the lionesses didn’t seem to have enough energy left. Viivi Vainikka tied the game in a first period that ended 1-1 but eventually the JYP juniors won 6-1.

Things became worse one day later when a player previously tested negative showed Covid-19 symptoms and was tested positive at the end of the camp in Kuortane causing quarantine for players of the women’s national team and its opponents.

Other games were not held in women’s hockey during the international break. Two Hungary vs. Austria games in Budapest were cancelled in the last minute due to increasing Covid-19 numbers and restrictions in Hungary. Most other countries either cancelled their camps entirely such as the Czechs, Germany, Russia and Switzerland or held it without the usual exhibition games such as the United States.

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