01/03/2024

Berglind Leifsdottir of Iceland making way up the ice with possession of the puck against Turkey (Photo Credit: Mats Bekkevold (@smats1984) - Instagram.)

On Day 3 of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championships Div II, Group B, Iceland and Australia looked to continue winning, while Turkey and Croatia looked for their first victories.

Throughout the entirety of the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II, Group B action, The Inner Sanctum will be bringing you a daily wrap of the tournament, breaking down the key moments of each match, and what the teams can do going forward.

In case you missed it, you can find the wrap for Day 1 here, while Day 2 can be found here.

Iceland v Turkey

After a dominant 10-1 victory to open against South Africa, Iceland looked to continue its winning ways against Turkey, who fell 7-0 to Australia in its opening match.

Turkey would have the best opportunity to put its stamp on the game 5:03 into the first period when it was given a 5v3 power play for a full two minutes after Sigrun Arnadottir and Elin Alexdottir were called for tripping and roughing respectively but were unable to find the back of the net because of some excellent penalty killing shifts by Iceland.

Iceland would take full advantage of the lifeline it was given by its penalty kill to open the scoring with 6:21 to go in the first period after winning a face-off in the attacking zone and Ragnhildur Kjartansdottir guided one from the point past Turkey goaltender Merve Karatas.

The penalty kill would have to come up strong for Iceland on either side of the first break after Hilma Bergsdottir would be called for interference with 1:35 to go in the first period.

With 3:30 having elapsed in the second, Iceland would again be rewarded for a strong penalty kill, taking a 2-0 lead through Arnadottir.

Turkey would get another two minute 5v3 opportunity, and despite Iceland holding out for almost the full two minutes, Turkey would hit the scoresheet with six seconds remaining on the 5v3 through Betul Taygar, who would also find the equaliser with 4:05 to go in the second to make it a 2-2 game heading into the third period.

Much like it did in the first period, Iceland would break the deadlock through Sunna Bjorgvinsdottir 2:11 into the third period to restore its one-goal lead.

The penalty kill would again have to come up strong for Iceland, and Turkey thought it had found a third goal on the power play, but it was immediately waved off with referee Ramune Maleckiene signalling it was played at with a high stick, and Iceland would keep its one-goal lead.

With 29 seconds to go, Karatas would head to the bench for an extra attacker to help Turkey find the equaliser, but it was too little, too late and Iceland would hold on for a 3-2 victory.

For Iceland, it will need to be more disciplined going forward in the remaining games. The number of penalties it took, including giving up two 5v3 opportunities, which Turkey was able to capitalise on the second time around, will hurt the side going forward.

Despite the amount of time Iceland spent short-handed, it was still able to find a path to victory, and that is something the team will need to take into its remaining games against Croatia and Australia, the latter of which could decide who gets promoted.

For Turkey, this was a good rebound performance after a tough first outing against Australia. Even though it was unable to find the win, there were some good signs from the squad to take going forward. Turkey was well disciplined in not taking any penalties in the game and found the back of the net twice.

With the remaining games being against Croatia and South Africa, Turkey needs to take the momentum gathered out of today’s performance into those games and find a victory.

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Croatia v Australia

Australia needed to find a victory in this one to keep pace with Iceland at the top of the group for promotion, while Croatia needed the victory after a disappointing opening game loss to South Africa in order to get off the bottom of the group and out of the relegation spot.

It would not take long for the scoring to get underway, as Michelle Clark-Crumptom would find the back of the net for Australia just 2:21 into the game.

It would not take long for Australia to find its second, although there was some confusion as to whether or not the puck crossed the line, after lengthy deliberation between the officials, it was confirmed that Isla Malcolm had scored.

Already down two goals and chasing the game, Croatia’s penalty kill had to dig deep after the side took a bench minor for too many players and the goaltender made some fantastic saves to keep it a two-goal game, but Shona Green would find Australia’s third goal two minutes after the expiration of the penalty to make it a three-goal lead for the Aussies.

Kate Tihema would add a fourth for Australia with 2:41 remaining in the first, which was appropriate given just how dominant Australia was throughout the opening 20 minutes.

Mia Snajder would take a tripping penalty with 1:23 to go in the first. While Australia would not score before the break, the Aussies would continue that first-period dominance in the second period scoring just 23 seconds in on the power play through Matilda Pethrick. In comparison, goal number six would come just eight seconds later through Sara Simmons.

Clark-Crumpton would get her second, while Courtney Mahoney would score a double, and Emily Davis Tope would also find the scoresheet to send Australia heading into the third period with a 10 goal lead.

Lindsey Kiliwnik would find the 11th goal for Australia 7:48 into the third, and Mahoney would get the hat-trick 17 seconds later to make it 12-0 to Australia.

Croatia would change goalies, with Julija Bazdar making way for Mirna Sertic, who would get scored on just 24 seconds after coming in as Marnie Pullin would score to give Australia a 13-0 victory.

For Australia, that is two dominant performances to open its campaign, with 20 goals for and zero against, which see it go top of the group on goal difference, holding a +10 differential over Iceland.

The depth that Australia has had throughout its opening two games is doing wonders for the squad, with all four forward lines and defensive pairings performing as part of these performances, which have provided 11 different goalscorers.

Australia’s two remaining games will see it face South Africa and Iceland, and a strong performance against South Africa tomorrow will be required to keep the pressure on Iceland at the top of the group, who Australia faces on Monday morning.

Day 4 action sees just one game taking place, with Australia having its back-to-back match, taking on South Africa, with puck drop at 2:00 am AEST.

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