ALMATY, Kazakhstan – Russian wins the women’s ice hockey tournament of the 28th Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan. The Russians with several players of the regular women’s national team from IIHF events on the roster beat Canada 4-1 in the gold medal game. The United States took bronze after beating China 3-0 for third place.
A repeat from last editions final, this year’s gold medal game faced-off the strongest teams of the tournament against each other: Russia and Canada. Russia came on strong in the first period scoring two goals. It was Olga Sosina who netted the first puck on the power play, while Alexandra Belyakova put the two on the scoreboard. Team Canada appeared intimidated by the strong Russian play.
The second period the capacity crowd of 4,500 spectators at the Baluan Sholak Arena saw a more aggressive Team Canada on the ice which resulted in a goal by Kelty Apperson, putting Canada back into the game. However, it was a hard shot from Sosina again that dropped out of the catching glove of Canadian goalie Valerie Lamenta crossing the goal line between her legs. Canada had several opportunities to outplay the Russians in 5-on-3 power-play situations. However, each time the ‘Red Machine’ executed a perfect penalty killing.
The Russians on the contrary benefitted from the extra player during another power play in the 51st minute when Alevtina Shtaryova netted a fourth goal, deciding the outcome of the game. The Canadian coach pulled the goalie for an extra player on the ice, but the Russians confidently skated to their victory pocketing the gold. Final score: 4-1 (2-0; 1-1; 1-0).
For Russian’s number 9, Alexandra Vafina, it was a special victory. The Russian student-athlete plays for the University of Calgary Dinos. “It’s pretty special. I know a number of the girls. But this is different, here you play also for your country.” She will not show off her gold medal too much when heading back to university in Canada. “It’s just a really good feeling. I hope I can take all the good from this experience.”
The bronze medal game between China and USA played at the Baluan Sholak Arena was a game that could go either way. In the first period, both teams had an equal number of shots on goal (7). While China could profit from four power plays, they couldn’t net the puck. In the second period, both teams continued to look for their respective weak spot, especially when Team USA could benefit from two powerplays but in vain … the scoreboard stayed blank. Finally, in the third, hardly on minute into the period, Kendra Myers was able to net the puck opening the score. Hardly three minutes later, Leah MacArthur succeeded again, while Madeline Wolsmann scored the final goal, securing the bronze. This is the second bronze for the Women’s USA ice hockey team since their participation. The first was won in Trentino, Italy in 2013. Final score: 0-3 (0-0; 0-0; 0-3).
The Universiade continues for two more days including today’s men’s semi-finals and tomorrow’s medal games in the men’s ice hockey tournament. Visit www.almaty2017.com
for more information and scores. Watch the games on the free live stream on www.livefisu.tv
CHRISTIAN PIERRE, FISU Final Ranking Women’s Tournament:
7. Great Britain