Girls ice hockey finale day

The final was set. The Czech Republic VS Sweden for the first ever gold medal in girls ice hockey at the EYOF. Having this event being at the festival in the first place is history making and the team who wins will always be remembered as the winners of the first ever EYOF Girls ice hockey event.

The game started rapidly, there was tension from the opening face off between both teams and this would only grow throughout the game. These tensions where coming from both sides who where being extremely physical with each other to a stage that we haven’t seen all tournament. More often than not there was a player being hit down onto the ice, Sweden seemed to not like this more physical approach at first as they conceded the first goal of the match 13 minutes into the game, through a brilliantly  bit of play from the Czech Republic who seemed to have a tight control of the game but Sweden began to play a lot better physical hockey which did allow them to have many attempts on goal, but it also meant that they gave away several penalties in the second period because of them matching the Czech Republics style for the game.

Enter the final period of regulation, Sweden where still down a goal despite several good opportunities for them to score the Czech keeper managed to stop all. The Czech Republic entering the third period also had many chances to increase their lead but couldn’t capitalise on these chances. During the third period tempers would flare repeatedly as players had to be repeatedly separated from each other so that a larger fight wouldn’t occur, this added tension and altercations caused play to become slightly sloppier which allowed Finland to go and find an equaliser heading towards the end of the game.

In overtime both teams regained their composure and while there was still tension both teams played the remaining time without major incident up until the last minute where a nasty hit occurred in the last seconds of the game on a Swedish player which the Czech player would be penalised for but with there only being one second left it was ultimately meaningless to the game.

In the penalty shootout it started out hesitant with both teams missing their first 3 penalties until the 4th set of penalties where the Czech Republic stepped up and scored what would be the only goal scored in the penalty shootout. The goalkeeper of the Czech republic stepped up and made some great saves to win the gold medal for her country and the first ever gold medal for the EYOF girls ice hockey.

Photo: Yvonne Koch

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