Hello from Vaujany! Greetings from lovely French Alps with the freezing cold mornings and beautiful sunny days. Hello from the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship of IA Division, where everybody can win today, and lose the next day. There are no favorites and losers on this Tournament in France.
After two days and six played games, the results table was pretty interesting. All participating countries (Norway, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and France) had the same number of wins and losses. All the winning countries of the first day were defeated on the very next day.of the Worlds.
THE INITIAL GAMES SURPRISES
The first day was full of surprises. Maybe the biggest one made Slovakia, defeating favored Austria, with the result 3-2. The general impression was that Austria entered the match fairly relaxed, thinking they would easily beat the last promoted IA Division country, Slovakia. But Slovakia played well motivated, skating fast and playing good in the attack as well as in the defense, and finally managed to overcome the Austrians.
No less interesting was the game between the hosts of France and Denmark. The match was very tense, and until the end it seemed it would be continued in the OT period. But, 51 seconds before the final whistle, the French player Chloe Aurard managed to score and bring the first win to France, 3-2.
THE FIRST OFFICIAL HUNGARIAN VICTORY OVER NORWAY
The last game of the day was between Hungary and Norway. At the previous Worlds (Graz, Austria, 2017), Norway easily defeated Hungary 6-0. But, the freshman in the Hungarian national team, Averi Nooren (with a dual Hungarian-Canadian citizenship), managed to score in the second minute of the first period, bringing Hungary to the lead. The match was full of ups and downs of the both teams, but in the end, Hungary deservedly won. It has been the first Hungarian victory over Norway at the official tournaments.
HOW LOSERS BECAME WINNERS
The second day of the Tournament brought the completely new winners and losers. Namely, all the countries that had lost the first day, managed to win on the next day, and opposite. After just a couple of hours of rest and recovery from the painful defeat in the last minute of the match, Danes played very good in the next game against Slovakia, and easily beat them 6-3.
But the next game (Hungary-Austria) was totally unpredictable. The Hungarians entered the match perfectly skating, passing and shooting the puck, and left for a break with a leading result 2-0. If you left the Vaujany ice-rink hall after the first period, you would probably think the Austrians would be defeated again. But, then you would have missed the total turn of the game made by the team of Austria. In the middle of the second period Austrian Denise Altman had scored the first goal for her team. And then everything changed. In the next ten minutes, Austrians managed to score 5 goals, completely violating the game of Hungarians. Austrians left for the second break with the smiles on their faces and the leading result 5-3. The last third was equal, both teams scored one more time. which was enough for Austrians to win an important victory.
THE ADVANTAGE OF THE HOME FIELD HASN’T PREVENTED THE DEFEAT OF THE FRENCH
The last game of the second day has been played between France and Norway. The ice-rink hall was full o spectators, an atmosphere was high and tense. The both teams have had many supporters from the stands.
Having been recovered from the first lost, Norway played very well against the French girls, and scored 2 goals in the first two periods. Only in the last period the French managed to score, which wasn’t enough to avoid their first loss. The final result of the game was 2-1 for Norwegians.
A FIGHT BETWEEN TWO ETERNAL RIVALS OF IA DIVISION
After a day break, the next game was played between the eternal rivals of the IA Division, Norway and Denmark. The stands were colored in red and white, full of the supporters from the both countries. After the first two periods, the result was 0-0. But it didn’t affect the fans from both teams to have a relaxed chat and beer in the breaks, outside the hall.
The last third brought some more excitement. Although Norwegians were more likely to attack, the Danish 15 years old goalie Emma-Sofie Nordström was invincible. On the other hand, a moment of uncertainty of the Norwegian defense players was enough for the Danish forward Silke Glud to score the first and only goal on the match, bringing her team victory and 3 important points.
AN UNEXPECTEDLY HIGH HUNGARIAN VICTORY
From the very start, the next game between Slovaks and Hungarians was completely unequal. The Hungarians dominated in every aspect of the game, and the Slovaks could only roughly stop them playing, making the frequent penalties. The final result of the match was unexpectedly high, 8-1 for Hungary.
The last game between the hosts of France and Austria has brought the new tension and excitement. The fans of both teams started gathering an hour before the game. When the match started, the hall was full of spectators.
Unexpectedly quickly and easily, Austria scored two goals in the third minute of the first period. Of course, this resulted with an extra tension in the hall. After the initial shock, the French were able to recover quickly , scoring two goals in the next 20 minutes, and the result was equal 2-2.
STILL WAITING FOR THE NEW WORLD’S CHAMPION
In the last period of the game the tension culminated. Austrians made a lot of fouls, allowing French to make often power play. But the result stayed unchanged. When it seemed the game would enter the OT period, 9 ssecs before the end, the refs sent Austrian Eva Maria Verwormer to the penalty box for holding the opponent. When the French players scored the goal 5 secs before the end, the host spectators were already celebrating their victory. France won another victory, and Austria left the battle field disappointed, with no points.
All in all, after 3 days, in the round robin table Hungary is the leading country, with 6 points and the biggest score difference, with following Denmark and France. After a day break, the final six games will bring us the new World champion, who’ll be promoted to the Top Division for the first time.