2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 7
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2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 7

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 7 by Melissa Burgess

Germany 3, China 0

An early goal from Laura Kluge, combined with China's struggle to get shots on net, helped propel Germany to a 3-0 win on Tuesday morning in Utica. Germany had already locked up the top spot in Group B prior to the game, so they really had nothing to lose from this one. China, on the other hand, really needed a win here to avoid relegation. Instead, with the loss, their fate would rely on the result of the later Japan/Denmark game to see where in Group B they finished in the standings.

Kluge scored just 28 seconds in, putting Germany up 1-0 very early in the game. A long shot from the point by Daria Gleißner hit the goaltender in the shoulder and popped out, with Kluge in the opportune spot to jam in the loose puck.

China's trouble became a bigger hole when Emily Nix scored on the power play with 4:03 to play in the opening period, giving Germany the 2-0 advantage. China was called for too many skaters, and although Jiahui Zhan made the first few saves, Nix made her way to the front of the net and found the loose puck, backhanding it in before the goaltender could keep track. China did not register a shot on goal in the first period; one shot was saved by an opponent, while three more went past the goal.

Those struggles continued in the second period, as they did finally manage three shots on goal but couldn't beat Lisa Hemmerle, despite having three separate power play opportunities. In the third period, they failed to capitalize on another power play, and squandered a chance on a penalty shot. Finally, Bernadette Karpf scored on the empty net in the final minutes to seal up the 3-0 win. Germany outshot China by a 44-9 margin.

China's top three players of the tournament were named after the game: Mengying Zhang, Yingying Guan and Jinglei Yang. Zhang had five shots on goal and one assist while averaging 19:57 per game. Guan had one goal and two shots on goal and averaged 18:00 of playing time per game. Yang finished the tournament with one goal and nine shots on goal while averaging 12:38 per game.

Czechia 6, Switzerland 1

Although the final score makes this game seem much more lopsided, the first period actually began pretty even-keeled between the two teams. Aneta Tejralová opened the scoring just 37 seconds in, getting her stick on a quick pass from Tereza Vanišová in front of the net.

Czechia's lead held for nearly 16 minutes, but they soon found themselves in some penalty trouble. With a 5-on-3, Switzerland tied it on a goal from Lara Stalder, who beat Klára Peslarová high on the glove side. The game stayed tied until past its midway point, when Vanišová helped break things open.

Her goal regained the lead for Czechia, and they never looked back in an incredibly dominant second period where they ultimately outshot Switzerland 14-3. Denisa Křížová fought off a defender, maintaining possession and getting to the net. She backhanded the puck to Vanišová in the crease, and the puck went in off Vanišová's skate. (There was no kicking motion on the play, which was not reviewed.)

Just 1:06 later, Natálie Mlýnková added to the lead. A giveaway along the boards found Adéla Šapovalivová, who cut to the middle of the ice but couldn't get the shot off. As the puck was pushed off her stick, it went to Mlýnková, who fired off a backhand to beat Saskia Maurer on the far side.

Czechia added three goals in the third period. Daniela Pejšová scored first in the final frame, releasing a long wrister from the point that sailed through a crowd and high into the net. Mlýnková scored twice in 4:51 to close out the game and complete the hat trick, including a goal from just inside the circle to Maurer's right on a high shot; she finished it off on a rebound off Maurer's pad with 3.7 seconds left in the game. Mlýnková is now the all-time leading scorer in Czechia program history at the top division, and this is the first time that Czechia has recorded two regulation wins in Group A at Worlds. What a moment for them!

Japan 2, Denmark 0

Japan came out from the start of the game ready to go. Remi Koyama struck at 4:47 for what would be the game-winning goal, capitalizing after a backhand popped out in front. Koyama found the puck off the rebound and shot it off the post, off the back of Emma-Sofie Nordström and into the net.

As the first period went on, Denmark really began to look a bit disheveled. The mission to avoid relegation became that much more difficult than Suzuka Taka tipped in a shot from Akane Shiga. Taka's goal, which came just past the midway point of the game, made it 2-0.

Denmark just couldn't muster anything of substance, despite the urgency of the game. They managed seven shots on goal in the first two periods and just one in the third period. Japan's Rui Ukita also scored an empty-netter with 3:23 left in regulation. As a result of the loss, Denmark has been relegated alongside China.

Coming up on Thursday, April 11: Quarterfinals

  • 10:00 AM Eastern – Finland vs. Switzerland (NHL Network, TSN1)
  • 1:30 PM Eastern – Czechia vs. Germany (NHL Network, TSN1)
  • 5:00 PM Eastern – Canada vs. Sweden (ESPN+, TSN1)
  • 8:30 PM Eastern – United States vs. Japan (NHL Network, TSN1)

China and Denmark have been relegated.