By National teams of Ice Hockey

Slovakia secured their spot in the Division IA Championship after claiming victory in the Division IB tournament held in Riga, Latvia.

The team from Slovakia finished the competition with four wins and one loss, earning a total of 12 points, narrowly missing out on second place to the host country, Latvia. 

The Slovakia team expressed apprehension regarding the possibility of promotion without their star player, Nela Lopusanova, who was absent in North America to compete in the USA Hockey National championships. However, the team prevailed even in her absence and managed to secure the gold medal.

Janka Hlinkova, a forward from Slovakia, was recognized as the best forward of the tournament, scoring three goals and accumulating eight points in five games.

Latvia’s Karina Silajane was voted as the Most Valuable Player by the media, leading the tournament in scoring with nine points in five games. The 21-year-old player had an impressive season with Riga in the Baltic league, scoring 38 points in 16 games.

Pia Dukaric, representing Slovenia, once again received the title of Best Goaltender at the Division IB competition, putting up a remarkable performance to prevent her team from relegation. Dukaric faced nearly 100 more shots than any other goaltender in the tournament and made 72 more saves than the next closest goaltender, achieving a save rate of 0.951 in five games.

Italy’s Laura Lobis was honored as the Top Defender of the competition, showcasing her skills and contribution to her team’s performance throughout the tournament.