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EFC 2017: Nauka and Rubene Group winners – 19.10.2017

Nauka were efficient in their first match with 11 goals. Kekava suffered a tight loss against Pruske yesterday as the match went to a penalty shootout. Kekava used the same defensive tactic again today, but after a quiet start Nauka started to find the net over and over again. The Russian champions dominated the match and used Kekava’s mistakes efficiently. Nauka won the match 14-2 and became the Group A winners with an impressive +20 goal difference.

Kekava started with the same tactic as against Pruske. As soon as Nauka had ball under control, Kekava retreated to their own end. But Nauka weren’t wasting their scoring chances. With 15 minutes playe, Nauka’s #26 Mariia Basargina was left unattended during a free hit and she used this opportunity to take her team to a 1-0 lead. After 20 minutes, Nauka were leading the match 3-0.

The second period followed the same pattern. Nauka were controlling the ball and celebrating. At the end of the second period, Nauka had already increased their lead to 8-0.

Nauka continued the domination in the third period and made scoring look easy. Kekava could only admire the fast passes and the skill level of Nauka as the Russian champions scored three goals within the first three minutes of the period. Kekava also got to celebrate as #74 Laura Skujevska scored their opening goal and decreased the score to 1-11. This brought little consolation as Nauka continued their efficient game. In the end Nauka won the match 14-2. Nauka’s first line got to celebrate a lot during the match as #59 Svetlana Viktorova scored 6+1 points and #99 Anastasiia Bulbash scored 3+6 points.

Best players:
Nauka #99 Anastasiia Bulbash
Kekava #35 Eliza Elizabete Berzina

Rubene and Gdansk were battling for the win of Group A. Both teams were a bit shaky in the start, but in the end Rubene improved their playing and started to find the net. Big difference in the match was the powerplays. Rubene were able to use both of them effectively, whereas Gdansk experienced some difficulties. Gdansk also had several dangerous scoring chances, but simply weren’t able to put them in. Rubene´s goalkeeper #31 Ilga Jekabsone was also confidently snatching the balls. Rubene won the match 6-1 and are Group B winners. They will face Pruske in the semi-finals and Gdansk will play Nauka.

Both teams had trouble during the first period as passes were intercepted by the opponent and they also had difficulties to shoot. Also, both goalkeepers were keen on taking all the shots that came their way. Gdansk got a chance at a powerplay when five minutes had been played, but were unproductive. With only a few minutes left, Rubene were rewarded with a powerplay as their player was tripled. Rubene’s captain #8 Liba Daija Mikova used this chance to take her team to a 1-0 lead as she shot a one-timer into the net.

Two minutes into the second period, Gdansk evened the score with a shot from the centre line. Rubene were able to even the score at 36:21 as #19 Liene Adamane was left unattended and put the bouncy ball from the rebound behind Gdansk goalkeeper #82 Patrycja Bernacka’s back. At the very end of the period, Rubene got a powerplay. They used it immediately and increased their lead to 3-1.

With 16 minutes left, Rubene had increased their lead to 4-1. Gdansk seemed to have trouble keeping up with Rubene’s passes and were sometimes too focused on the ball and not the unattended players. Not long after, Gdansk got a powerplay, but it was once again inefficient and even a shorthanded goal by Rubene was rather close. Rubene took advantage of Gdansk’s risky playing style and scored two more goals at the end of the third period. Despite having altogether three powerplays and playing 6 against 5 in the end, Gdansk weren’t able to score and lost the match to Rubene 6-1. This meant that Rubene are Group B winner and will play Pruske in the semi-final whereas Gdansk will face Nauka.

Best players:
Rubene #8 Liba Daija Mikova
Gdansk #15 Anna Raczkowska