Monday, April 11, 2011

Czech women win IIHF Division II championship


CAEN, France – The Czech women’s national team won the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship Division II in Caen after being relegated from Division I in their last participation.

Czech forward Eva Holešová celebrates a goal in the opening
game against Great Britain. Photo: Christine Mussier,
The Czechs were the favourites not only because they came down from Division I, but also because of the recent success of their U18 team, that has been playing in the Top Division for the past three years. Unsurprisingly, with some exceptions such as 30-year-old netminder Radka Lhotská, it was this new generation of 17- to 19-year-old players who led the way to the gold medal.

The Czechs won their first games against Great Britain (5-1), Italy (3-1) and Denmark (7-0) before facing France in the last game. It was a match-up of the two only undefeated teams before the last day.

Lucie Povová opened the scoring after only three minutes, but the French pushed their opponents to their limits until Nikola Tomigová scored two more goals (including an empty netter) in the dying minutes of the games for a 3-0 score.

The French had to settle with a silver medal along with heaps of praise for being a good host in Caen in the Normandy. Several games were attended by more than 1,000 people, including 1,363 at the Czech-French clash for the tournament win.

Winning Division II means that the Czech Republic qualifies for the Division I World Championship next season in Burlington, Vermont, USA.

For the individual statistics of Czech players in the tournament, click here.

Final Ranking:

1. Czech Republic, 15 points
2. France, 12
3. Denmark, 9
4. Italy, 6
5. Great Britain, 3
6. DPR Korea, 0 (withdrew, forfeited all matches)

Individual Awards as selected by the Tournament Directorate:

Best Goalkeeper: Caroline Baldin, France
Best Defenceman: Kateřina Flachsová, Czech Republic
Best Forward: Josefine Jakobsen, Denmark

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