Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Germany prevails over Czech Republic with anticipation of quarterfinals

Heading into the final day of competition in Pool B of the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds, Germany needed a win to stay alive in anticipation of qualifying for the quarterfinals. With a tough opponent in the Czech Republic, a loss would place either team in jeopardy of competing in the relegation games.

A strong German power play made the difference in this contest. Marie Delarbre opened the scoring for the Germans on the power play. They would follow in the second period with another power play marker.

While the Czechs outshot Germany in the first period, the club struggled with penalties. Heading into the final frame, the Czechs faced a 4-1 deficit. Katerina Becevova signified a goalie change but the Czech squad was frustrated. While the Czechs managed to score twice in the third, the Germans prevailed by a 6-3 tally. 

The captain of Germany, Susann Gotz was excited about the possibilities after the win, “We were very happy with the win. It is very important for us for Russia to get the win versus Sweden so we can play in the bigger ice rink. It is what we want.”

One of the younger players on the German squad, Jessica Hamerl felt that special teams was a key factor in the victory, “We applied good pressure. We used our power play very well. We played well in the second period and scored more goals. It was good for the team’s confidence.”

Alena Polenska, the team captain of the Czech Republic reflected on the loss, “It wasn’t our day. There were some good moments, but we let up at some points. Germany was able to capitalize on their power play. It took a long time for us to realize we could fight back.”

During the second intermission, the squad was still behind. In asking Polenska the mood in the locker room, she replied, “Some players were a bit discouraged. We were trying to encourage each other. We told each other ‘If they could score three goals, we can score three.’ It was different than the first intermission, not the same atmosphere.”

Forward Maritta Becker of Germany gave her impressions of the first period, “At the beginning, we had a bit of trouble. We knew from other games, that we had troubles at the beginning. We had a lot of penalties in the first period. When the Czech Republic got their first penalty, we had some confidence in the game.”

With the win, Becker felt that it showed what the German squad was capable of, “We performed really well and were really glad. We could show up in the last period, and today we showed the experience that we have.”

Tanja Eisenschmid, who also competes at the NCAA level with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, was named Player of the Game for Germany. “When I first heard my name, I could not believe it. Then it was like ‘Number 23, that’s me!’ I was even happier because we won. A really great feeling.”

With the possibility of qualifying for the quarterfinals, she was very excited, “It would be awesome. First, we would play Canada, US, Finland or Switzerland. To play in the bigger rink is second, so that’s even better. It would just be awesome to play in Scotia Bank Place, where the NHLers play.”

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