Germany, Canada win bronze

YOG: Canada beats U.S. 7-5, Germany over Kazakhs 7-4

Innsbruck  Austria

Canada celebrates a goal against Team USA in the 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games bronze medal match. Photo: Oliver Lerch / GEPA Pictures

Canada - USA 7 - 5 (3 - 1, 4 - 1, 0 - 3) Game Sheet INNSBRUCK – The U.S. scored three goals in the final period to make it close, but Canada held on to win the bronze medal game 7-5, less than 24 hours after losing a close semi-final match to Finland. Canadian forward Ryan Gropp had a hat trick and Reid Gardiner notched a goal and four assists as Canada’s top line combined for six goals and 14 points. “It feels really special, always great to be able to help out the team, but most importantly I’m happy we came away with the bronze medal,” said Gropp. “It was really tough to lose to the Finns in the semis but we told ourselves that we had to just forget about it and worry about the next game and focus for it like it was the gold medal game.” Team USA was again undone early by penalties, which have been their Achilles’ heel for the entire tournament. After Jared Fiegl was called for Delay of Game three minutes into the start of the first period, Eric Cornel scored on the power play, with assists coming from Gardiner and captain Joseph Hicketts. Canada added two more goals in the frame, including another on the man advantage. Nate Billitier got a late goal for the U.S. in the period, scoring with seven seconds remaining on the clock, and Ryan MacInnis, son of former Canadian NHL star Al MacInnis, scored 40 seconds into the second period to shave Canada’s lead to 3-2. But that would be the closes the Americans would get. Goals by Adam Brooks, Gardiner, and Gropp gave Canada the 7-2 lead going into the third period, and despite scoring three unanswered goals the U.S. could not overcome the deficit. Click here for a video with post-game comments

Germany - Kazakhstan 7 - 4 (2 - 1, 3 - 1, 2 - 2) Game Sheet INNSBRUCK – Germany defeated Kazakhstan in the bronze medal game 7-4. Captain Valerie Offermann had three goals in the game as Germany won the first ever bronze medal in women’s ice hockey at a Youth Olympic Winter Games.

"It feels great, I feel very proud of the whole team," said Offermann.

After Kazakhstan forward Meruyer Ryspek scored on a breakaway to tie the game up 2-2 early in the second period, the German offence woke up and scored three goals to put them ahead.

Offermann batted in a rebound for her first goal of the game, then linemate Lucie Geelhaar and defenceman Katharina Oertel each added another to give Germany a commanding 5-2 lead going into the third period.

Germany’s top line of Offermann, Geelhaar, and Pia Szalowski proved too much for the Kazakhs to handle in the game. Ryspek scored another two minutes into the period, closing the German lead to two goals. But Offermann responded with a pair of breakaway markers, one with Germany on the penalty kill, to seal the bronze medal for her team.

"It was a great moment because it was a tight game, and in the last ten seconds I realised we were gonna win and it was a great moment for me, since this was my first year as a head coach," said German coach Maritta Becker, right before one of her players came up from behind and doused her with an ice bucket in celebration.

Click here for a video with post-game comments.  

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