International Ice Hockey Federation

Finns win defensive battle

Finns win defensive battle

Silvonen shuts out Czechs to finish 5th

Published 13.01.2017 23:20 GMT+1 | Author Derek O'Brien
Finns win defensive battle
PREROV, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 13: The Czech Republic's Noemi Neubauerova #25 lets a shot go towards Finland's Jenna Silvonen #30 during placement round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Finland avenged their group stage defeat to the Czechs with a 2-0 victory in the game for fifth place. Jenna Silvonen made 25 saves for the shutout.

The biggest test to Silvonen's shutout came with 3:38 remaining in the third period, when Noemi Neubauerova was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. The Czech forward tried to make a move, but Silvonen stayed with her and kept it out.

“She went to the left and then tried to shoot up,” Silvonen recalled, before confidently stating that she wasn't worried. “I knew I could handle it.”

It was Silvonen's second shutout of the tournament, and she only allowed three goals in the four games she played.

For the host Czechs, it meant getting shut out in their last two games to end the tournament.

“We had problems with scoring goals the whole tournament, not just in this last game. It was something that bothered us,” said Czech captain Lucie Bucifalova. “We wanted that win for the fans, to say thank you, because they supported us the whole time and it was amazing. But we failed.”

At the other end, Denisa Jandova's shutout lasted only 25 seconds – that's when defenceman Camille Kahra's long-range slapper along the ice found its way through traffic and into the net. Otherwise the Czech goalie played quite well. 

“We wanted to start better, we wanted to score the first goal and play our game, but it didn't work out,” Bucifalova continued. 

In the second period Jandova had to be sharp as she stopped a couple shorthanded breakaways. The Finns got their second goal just past the midpoint of the period, when Linnea Melotinos managed to get in behind the Czech defence and take a pass. With Jandova at her mercy, Melotinos pulled the puck to her backhand and put it in the net.

Overall, Jandova stopped 19 of 21 shots in her only appearance of the tournament. 

Otherwise, there weren't many offensive moments between two evenly matched teams. The fact that it was an evenly played game is hardly a surprise, after the meeting between the two teams during the group stage was won in overtime by the Czechs. After each lost their quarter-final games on Wednesday, they were matched up again in this game for fifth and sixth places, and the Finns got their revenge.

“Yeah, it's nice to beat them. We thought we should have won the last time, so it wouldn't have been nice to lose again,” said Silvonen, who didn't play in the first meeting.

As for finishing 5th, the Finnish goalie reasoned: “Of course, when we started we wanted to win a medal, but finishing the tournament with a win leaves us with a good feeling.”


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