Germans stop Czechs in Zlin

WW18: Spielberger's two goals send home team out of the playoffs.

PSG Arena Zlin  Czech Republic

The Germans women celebrate following their quarter-final victory. Goaltender Franziska Albl made 28 saves as the Germans shut out the Czechs for nearly 50 minutes. Photo: Phillip MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images

Germany – Czech Republic 2 – 1 (1 – 0, 0 – 0, 1 – 1) Game Sheet, Photos The hometown luck ran out for the Czech Republic, upset in a surprising victory for the upstart German team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship quarter-final. Kerstin Spielberger potted two goals and goaltender Franziska Albl backstopped her team to a berth in the semi-finals with a 28-save performance, outduelling Czech netminder Veronika Hladikova. Fresh off her hat trick performance in Germany’s final Group B game against Switzerland, Kerstin Spielberger twice added to her goal count with her fifth and sixth scores of the tournament, the first at 12:02 in the first period. She scored again on a German power play in the third period, giving her team some breathing room just seconds into the final frame. “Today we capitalized on our chances,” German head coach Maritta Becker said. “After the first goal I was sure that we would be able to beat the Czechs. Our girls played well as a team and have supported each other well. It was a great experience for them, but also for myself to see how they grew together.” Buoyed by their hometown crowd in Zlin, the Czechs did not go quietly. Forward Klara Chmelova breathed life into her team with a short-handed goal set up by Aneta Ledlova with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game. However, the home team could not stay out of the penalty box, taking five penalties in the third period, limiting their chances to tie the game. With Hladikova pulled in the final minute, time ran out on the Czechs, who will now play against Finland in the placement game. For the Germans, who finished sixth in last year’s championship, a difficult task looms ahead with a semi-final game on Friday. ADAM STEISS
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