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Strong defence gives Czechs the bronze medal – 04.05.2014

In a very tight match, Czech Republic´s strong defence and well-built attack proved too strong for Switzerland, and their 5-2 victory won them the bronze medal.

The Swiss team had some thinking to do, going into the Bronze match against the Czech Republic, after having lost their goalie Jill Münger due to injury, so they had only one goalie for the match and a standby field player in case.

Czech Republic was clearly more active from the start, creating a number of really good chances. The Czech forechecking forced the Swiss to only play the ball in their own zone and hope for openings in the Czech defence. The period was dominated by a lot of midfield play. Nikola Kucharova gave the Czechs the 1-0 lead after a lucky deflection in front of the goal. Switzerland equalised quickly through a typical counter attack by Vera Ambühl. The Czech got a possibility on powerplay, but couldn’t pass the well-playing Swiss goalie Tina Leuenberger, who made a lot of excellent saves. Petra Havlikova scored a beautiful goal from the line giving the Czechs a 2-1 lead for the first intermission.

The Swiss came quickly back in the match, by Andrea Gämperli scoring the 2-2 goal after having been left all alone in front of the goal. This gave energy to the Swiss and the Czechs even took a 2 min penalty, which the Swiss were unable to capitalise on. The Czech’s tried to play a far too difficult and complex game, seeking the final solution in the slot, excellently defended by the Swiss defence.  So it was no surprise that Magdalena Klimova again gave the Czech’s the lead (3-2) with a wrist shot from the side of the field.

It became obvious quite soon in the third period that the Swiss couldn’t really find either the space or time to play through the very active and committed Czech defence, which blocked more than 20 shots in the last period alone. The Swiss were not able to break this wall of Czech players even in powerplay. The Swiss tried hard with two lines in the last period, but started to get tired. Klimova made her second goal of the match after yet another well-built Czech attack and Kamilla Paloncyova finalised the 5-2 score in power play. The Swiss tried the last two minutes without the goalie, but that didn’t pay off either.

Best Players:
Czech Republic - Hana Ranochova
Switzerland - Tina Leuenberger

Photo: Bernard Guzialek