Category: GB Women 2016

April 6th, 2016 by Nancy Carpenter

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

Yesterday Great Britain took on Slovenia and after the game everyone was talking about Slovenia’s 15 year old netminder making her international debut, Pia Dukaric. 482Days caught up with her the day after to chat about the game and her style of hockey.

Tell us a little about yourself – where do you play hockey at the moment?

I play for hockey for Ljubljana for the boys team (under 16) and also a Women’s team there.

How would you describe your net minding style?

Tries to keep up with the current trends and listen to my goalie coach that has experience coaching in the United States who has really helped me.

You played half of the game against Poland in the opening day. What was it like to be thrown into a difficult game like that?

It was pretty difficult as I was watching the other goalie get so many shots on her net and I was really nervous to get out there. When the first shot when in it was a nightmare but then I got myself together and played a really good third period.

15 is very young to be playing international senior hockey. How do you cope with the pressure at such a young age?

I feel it a little bit and I’m the youngest for the team and sometimes the coaches expect me to be at the same level as the others but it’s not so difficult as I have my team mates to support me.

How did it feel when your coach told you that you would be getting your first international start yesterday?

I was pretty happy, it’s a big thing for me to be playing in the World Championship, I was happy a little bit hervous as I didn’t expect to be starting in this tournament.

You won the MVP of the game for your team last night. How excited were you to be awarded such an honour?

Really excited, I didn’t expect it when my name was called out because I’m the youngest,  I didn’t expect it go so well so I was very happy and very honoured.

Your older sister also plays for the team, does having her there help you?

It really helps as we are really close together, we talk a lot and I can tell her if something bothers me and she can help me with that.

What’s in the future for you? Will you continue to play for your local club or consider a move to play higher level hockey?

I hope I can play at a higher level, I’d love to go to a America to play because it’s a great way to get an education and it’s really good hockey.

Huge thanks to Pia Dukaric for the interview and to Slovenia’s Media Officer Rok Srakar for his assistance in setting this up. Really entertaining and interesting interview.

Posted in GB Women 2016

April 6th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

Ahead of the crunch tie against Poland tomorrow. 482Days met with the GB coaching staff

Congratulations on the win last night, what are your thoughts on the team’s performance?

JA: We stayed disciplined, every knows we lost the game two days before against Korea. It wasn’t really a game about getting goals, it was about setting up play. In the Korea game we didn’t get enough shots off on goal, so it was important against Slovenia to put far more shots on the net.

Getting a shut-out is always a great feeling for a team, especially when it includes killing off a major penalty. How important is it for you not just to win, but to win convincingly like this?

MS: It was about the team performance, it was about doing the basics right. Getting a shut out  wasn’t the most important thing. We stuck to the set plays and it was about being far more disciplined and far better than before and we showed that when we killed off the five minute penalty. It was far more than just about getting a shutout.

JA: That was our Gold Medal game, in that if we had lost it, we were out of the running. Every game onwards from now on is. After the end of the first we realised that we had to step it up now and we did.

In the first period, it seemed to us that you got off to a great start but then seemed to lose concentration a little until the end of the period when you cam back with the two quick goals, was that how it felt on the bench?

MS: No not at all, it wasn’t anything other than us asking to stick to specifics. We said in the dressing room it was a 60 minutes game, can’t win it in the first 20 minutes, but we can lose it.

Sometimes it’s important to get confidence back in the team especially losing in the previous game. That was the aim, we asked the team to be patient, we asked them not to take unnecessary risks and most importantly they did what they were asked to do for full 60 minutes.

The atmosphere at last night’s game was pretty incredible, especially given that it wasn’t a huge crowd. Does that kind of atmosphere help or hinder the team?

MS: It truth it makes it harder for the players on the ice but they are professionals.

JA : We’ve talked about this with the team in that the only way we’re going to step up is to be professional. Just because they don’t play in a professional league back home, they have to show professionalism. So if it’s air horns, sirens, they have to not let them bother them.

Tomorrow you play Poland and there is a fairly clear mandate for what the team needs to achieve in order to keep yourselves in the chase for the gold medal. Have you been changing anything about how you prepare for this specific game?

MS: Yes, i think each teams plays differently and we’re worked on key things today in practise about playing this side. It’s about dictating the game to Poland making them the ones that have to adapt to us, not the other way around.

Obviously, you watched the game between Poland and Korea. Poland seem to enjoy playing a physical and quite aggressive style of play – how do you think our girls stack up against that?

MS: It should be a very good match. We like to play aggressive hockey, we like to play hard and fast and we’ve said that from day 1. You can’t win tournaments at this level without this type of play. It’s something that suits us and we enjoy it.

Special teams are again playing a big part in the tournament. How much time have you been putting in to working on specific PP and PK drills?

MS: PK we have good foundations there, that’s something that we’ve built on constantly. PP has been different o this season, we’ve worked hard on it.

JA: We spent an hour and a half off ice training session specifically working on PP prior to the Slovenia game and that paid off in the game with sometime of the things we had practised coming off in the game.

Going back to the game against Korea on Sunday, what were your thoughts on that game? What positives can you take out of that game?

JA: Take away a goal, it was pretty much equal. That programme (Korea) is massively funded heading towards the Olympics. We had the belief and competed to the final buzzer despite going a goal down.

Nicole Jackson is clearly in fantastic form in this tournament. When you are coaching a player in such good form, what is it you look to do?

GW: Carry on doing whatever is working for Nicole Jackson and for the team. She’s on a hot streak at the moment and we just need to give her the support she needs.

JA: She’s a professional and she has her way of working and her routine and we just support that

GW: We’re also fortunate to have Sam Bolwell, who also is in good form at the moment. We have two very solid goalies.

The defence have probably seen a higher proportion of changes than the forward line-up, but seems to have remained consistently solid again this year, how have you handled those changes in the squad?

MS: The defensive line up this year based around being more offensive minded. Previous years we’ve had stay at home defence and while it’s held up the blue line, it’s not got us over the line to win games. So this year we looked at alternatives and thought that we’re good offensively so lets try and mix it up in the defence. We’re still very solid as we’ve got defensive and offensive in both pairings that are clicking. They aren’t afraid to step in to pinch. We’ve got some very good skaters and some very smart hockey players.

We have a few foreign-based players who have been brought in to the squad again tis year. How difficult is it to transition in these players when they are not available to attend all the training camps in the run up to the championships.

MS: I don’t think it’s difficult at all, it’s about having a very clear system. We have specific breakout plays that we operate and everyone buys into it. Quite simply if you don’t, then there’s no place in this team. Everyone is studying what we’re working on, they are learning as lines and also working off-ice as well going through the playoff.

We’ve been speaking to the overseas players all year and the key message is that this how we are operating it and require this level of commitment, including those playing putting in work wherever they are based and all of them have.

How’s the mood in the GB camp at the moment?

MS: Very good, very good spirits are very high and that’s where we need them to be.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016

April 6th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: www.iihf.com

Tell us a bit about your hockey experience?

I played hockey at my high school for Shattuck-Saint Mary’s, being a boarding school it meant that we had certain advantages in that we were bringing in girls from Canada and the rest of the United States, i.e we got to pick a select team. When I was there we won the National Teams Tournament twice, which is huge.  I went into college hockey for Minnesota-Duluth and won two NCAA Division 1 titles, then moved to Switzerland and played pro for two years. I came out of retirement (I was a middle school teacher!) for a short time for another Swiss team, then I got the job for Korea as Head Coach.

What is it like to win an NCAA Division 1 title?

It was unbelievable because other than winning at the Olympics or National Level, I do truly believe that after National Teams status, NCAA Division 1 hockey is ‘it’ in womens hockey. So to win after so much work over the year made it an unbelievable feeling.

In doing research we saw that you attended Hockey Canada’s National Teams Summer Showcase, how much of a help was that for your personal development as a coach?

It was really good for my personnel development – just to see how professionally Team Canada is run as a programme. Everything is planned out months in advance to a high level of detail, everything is prepared. As a lower-level team we don’t have that and we’re trying to teach those fundamentals and we’re getting there, but it was eye opening to see how they did things.

How did you end up becoming Head Coach of Korea?

(laughs) When I tell people- well I’m still shocked myself! When I tell high school friends what I’m doing… It makes for fun alumni events! Jim Paek (GM, ex-Nottingham Panthers and 2-time Stanley Cup winner) and my dad (Andy Murray, former Team Canada coach) are friends in the game. When Jim got the director job and asked Andy for advice on the issues and asked about it, my name came up. I ended up going for an Interview and it really worked. Having lived by myself in Bejing for a year, it also meant I was prepared for living in Asia and I took the position.

How have you coped personally with the move to Korea and what is the biggest cultural difference between coaching the National team and your previous hockey experience?

It is a very different culture and sometimes when I expect them to know things, for example I was trying to get players to change properly (players jump to enter the ice, use the doors to exit) and they didn’t get it – they hadn’t jumped the boards before. We actually do it in our training sessions now just for practice. For our in-house games – the winning team gets to pick a forfeit for the losing team and they often suggest jumping the boards as they dislike it so much! It’s little things like this, when you’re been brought up in a hockey culture that you just know them, but they take time to teach.

One thing that I found really difficult at the start was being in position of authority, I’d explain a drill and ask “Everybody understand” and they’d all say yes, then the drill would collapse! Teaching the players that I’m not going to be mad if they ask question has been difficult but we’re now got a positive back and forth communication which has really improved things.

What has been the most important thing that you’ve put in place as Head Coach since you took the job?

Changing the culture. There’s a culture in Korean society of that if you’re older you’re better at your job, and this has stifled development. Encouraging younger players to push for that top spot has been important as previously, the older players were 1st and 2nd line, younger were 3rd and 4th, regardless of ability. (482days We saw you had a 15 year old on the team, and a 15 year old turning 16 for the championship) Yeah we have. We also brought two 15 years olds with who are are assistants for the team but gaining in experience by being here.

Who would you say are your biggest mentors in Coaching?

My dad was a huge one, it’s nice to have a dad who’s a coach, so you can call him at any time for help and advice. Jim Paek our director has also been so helpful because he has vast experience in NHL and International hockey but he also knows the cultural side of Korean society which really helps me, as he can advice me on that side of the job.

How would you rate your performance so far at this championship?

Last year was a rough start and we lost our first two games to Kazakhstan and Great Britain and we have to scratch our way back into the tournament to take Bronze. I believe this year we changed our off-ice regime, we added a fitness coach and a full time equipment manager. We’re improved a lot since last year and we’ve really worked hard and the girls have improved a lot. Yesterday didn’t go the way that we wanted to (Korea lost 2-1 to Poland), but we can still take a lot from this tournament

The game on Saturday against DPR Korea was clearly one that was going to be more than just a standard game. Was there anything in particular that you had to do to prepare for it?

We really didn’t worry about the political side, it was more about the fear of us never beating them in a competition. I believe the last time we played them we lost by 8 goals. We started off nervous and it took a while for us to find real belief and start to play at the higher level. It’s a problem when you’re only starting to play your best hockey in the 3rd period, but it was excellent to get the result.

In less than two years you’ll be competing on the biggest Women’s hockey stage in the world, the Olympic Games. How are your preparations going?  

We’re doing a lot of training camps, and we’re trying to improve our girls the best we can but we’re also looking for Korean girls who are born in the US or Canada that play hockey. Our girls are getting better, but having those additional players will be huge for us. Next year we have the Asian Winter Games and we have some high-level games coming up – including a visit from China in August. We have a long way to go and we haven’t a lot of time to do it.

What sort of resources are you being given to try and prepare your side for the huge task ahead?

Players are full time for 11 months a season as well as full-time coaching staff. Every Monday to Friday they are in the weight room, then on the ice. Weekends are off unless we have a game scheduled against a boys team. Having so few teams to play against means that a high level of motivation is required and we work hard to make practises fun and enjoyable, having some sense of competition.

The last time a non World Group Nation made the Olympics was in Italy in 2006. With the change in the structure of the Olympic tournament, does it make your life simpler knowing you don’t have to play USA/Canada?

We arguably have a better chance than the men’s team as they were thrown straight into the deep end playing one of the tournament favourites. We’re going to do our best, everyone asks in Korea do you think you are going to get a medal, but these teams are so developed and so strong. I’d love to win a medal, but we’re going to do everything we can do prepare and to have no regrets afterwards.

What would you say Is the main thing you need to improve upon in order to be competitive against the nations you’ll face at the Olympics?

We’re a good skating team but our physical strength needs to improve a lot.  We need to be stronger in the battles on the ice. Poland and Great Britain are both big, physical sides and they do tend to push us around.

You’ve selected a relatively small squad for this World Championship, are there more players expected to come through in the next few years?

We have three 15 year old players coming through, with up to four imports coming in as well. However, it’s a little nerve racking however to think about our 15/16 year old players potentially coming up against the likes the likes of Canada or USA! We’ll have a full roster for next year and we hope to have this for the next world championship. Ideally that team will be very close to the Olympic team.

What do you think the biggest strengths of the Korean team are?

We’re a very good turnover sides in terms of pressuring the opponents and trying to get them to turn over the puck to us. Off the ice, we have a team where the oldest player is 32 and youngest is 15 and the team spirit is fantastic. Especially for me as North American it’s strange to see them all getting along so well. When I first came in, I thought I’d have to do all this team building to get them to talk, but they are a big family and they take care of each other and it’s amazing to see.

Massive thanks to Sarah Murray from Team Korea for her frank and enthralling interview. For more Womens’ Worlds News check out the site or follow us on twitter @482days.

 

 

Posted in GB Women 2016

April 6th, 2016 by Richard

Poland vs Great Britain, Thursday 7th April, 13:00 CEST/12:00 BST, Sports Hall Bled. 

There’s no doubt that GB have played their get out of jail card. On Tuesday morning, GB’s destiny was out of their own hands and firmly dependant on Poland doing GB a favour. International Hockey can be brutal at times, one defeat early in the tournament and your entire year’s plans are thrown out of the window in an heartbeat.

But GB got that favour from Poland and now know that win or lose tomorrow, it’s in GB’s hands either way and tomorrow Great Britain will take on Poland for only the third time in the modern era. With the series tied between the nations at one win each, it’s a pivotal deciding game in more ways than one.

GB will need to win by two goals or more in order to give them chance to play for the Gold Medal on Friday realistically.

482Days takes a look at the key aspects of the game including a history lesson, looking at how GB and Poland have got to this point, key players to watch and 482 (or perhaps a lot less) Keys to a GB Victory.

The History

Great Britain and Poland have only met on two occasions previously with the Poland women’s team only a very recent addition to the family of Women’s hockey nations.

Wednesday 9th April 2014, IIHF World Women’s Championship Division IIA, Great Britain 1 – 4 Poland

It was all looking so good when Katherine Gale put GB 1-0 up after just 98 seconds. Poland would rally and do so quickly, with three goals one each for their first line forwards, Karolina Pozniewska, Agnieszka Pioro and Magdalena Czaplik. Despite 13 minutes of time on the powerplay, and forty shots on goal GB wouldn’t score again and a late goal by Pozniewska sealed the tie.

Saturday 4th April 2015, IIHF World Women’s Championship Division IIA, Poland 0 – 4 Great Britain

Payback. Great Britain produced one of their best performances in the championship in front of a home crowd of 723 in the Dumfries Ice Bowl. GB’s powerplay fired early when Jodie-Leigh Bloom got GB off the mark. Poland piled the pressure on the GB net in the 2nd period outshooting GB 16–9, but with Nicole Jackson in superb form she was unbeatable. GB added a 2nd half way through the third from Gale, and when Leanne Ganney made it three with five minutes to go GB had sealed a famous victory. Saffron Allen made it four with 30 seconds left and Jackson completed a 30 shot shutout.

The Form

Poland WWW

Poland come into this game with a perfect record in the championships so far.

Slovenia 2 – 9 Poland, Saturday – Poland go 4-0 up in the first, outshoot Slovenia 20-5 in first period alone. 9-2 at the end of the 2nd with Captain Katarzyna Frackowiak getting a hattrick. No more scoring in third.

DPR Korea 4 – 9 Poland – Big first period sees DPR Korea lead twice, before Poland take the lead 3-2 by the end of it. Poland win the 2nd period 2-1 to make it 5-3 overall, pull away in the third to win 9-4

Korea 1 – 2 Poland – Korea dominate the game early, outshooting Poland in the first two periods but for no scoring. Frackowiak scores early in the period, then gets a late controversial goal to seal the tie. Conceed late on but seal both points.

Great Britain WLW

Great Britain currently stand at two wins and a loss.

Great Britain 19 – 1 Croatia – GB 7-1 up after the first period, quiet second period sees only four goals, before GB score eight in the third to equal their third highest goals in a game. Allen gets four goals, Herbert, Henry hat-tricks. 50pts given out in the game overall.

Great Britain 0 – 1 Korea – Scoreless first period, Korea take the lead early in the 2nd by Hye In Ko. GB have six powerplays after that, but can’t find a way through and Korea’s netminder So Jung Shing completes a 21 shot shutout.

Great Britain 6 – 0 Slovenia – GB off to a flyer from Leanne Ganney just 30 seconds in. After well matched first, GB score two quick goals at the end of the 1st to make it comfortable at three. Two more in the second, one in the third, GB made to work for it but GB seal three important points.

Three to Watch out for

There’s without a doubt some talented players on the Poland bench. There’s three in particular that GB will have to handle tomorrow:

17 – Katarzyna Frackowiak –  Lethal in front of net, Frackowiak havs 6+1 including both goals against Korea, their pivotal game so far. Great at getting into difficult to defend positions and precise shooting although she did struggle on her breakaway chances. Poland’s top goalscorer and for a good reason, she needs to be closed down or she’ll get on the scoresheet.

7 – Karolina Pozniewska – Fast, two-way player, very skillful on the puck. Strong, aggressive player who backs up her physical play with a fast hands and an eye for goal. She’s a very talented player and GB will need to take her on at her own game.

1 – Martyna Sass – Butterfly goalie, who showed an acuteness for rebound control in Poland’s win over Korea. GB will have to make her move in order to beat her. Not unstoppable, as first period against DPR Korea showed, but once she gets going, looked very good indeed.

482 (or less) Keys to a GB Victory

Neutralise Poland’s Powerplay: Poland are currently running with a PP %age of 33%, 6/18, averaging a goal just over 4 minutes over powerplay time. GB have a great penalty killing rate of 14/15 (93%) but they must make sure they maintain that against tough opposition.

Take advantage of Poland’s Penalty Kill: Similar to the first point, but Poland have conceded 4 goals on 15 shorthanded plays, which puts them fourth in the tournament on that. GB”s powerplay hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, but this is a key area where GB can make it count.

Watch out for Shorthanded chances: Poland have already conceded two shorthanded goals while pushing on the powerplay. Clearly Poland are playing an aggressive powerplay which is fine, but with GB’s speed there could be

Make the goalkeeping count: GB’s combined save percentage is 97.33%, nearly five points higher than Poland (92.63%). In addition in GAA, GB have conceded just 0.67 a game, compared to Poland’s 2.33.

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482Days will be publishing a series of articles today from the tournament with interviews with key people! We’ll also have live twitter on Thursday from the key game and other day games.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

What a day at the World Championships. We wouldn’t of thought it would of been as tense as it was earlier and after a defeat yesterday, GB are back in business. Which brings us nicely to our first thing we learned today….

Great Britain are back in the tournament

There’s no doubt about it. After Sunday’s defeat to Korea where GB were undoubtedly very disappointed indeed, they have been given a get out of jail free card and it sets up winner-takes-all tie against Poland on Thursday lunchtime.

They were put under a lot of pressure by Slovenia especially in the first period and when things weren’t exactly going brilliantly for GB in the 2nd period, however in the end they pulled off a good performance. They’ll have to step up for Thursday, but GB have it in their own hands which is the most important thing.

The Polish are physical, aggressive can be unflappable

In a lot of ways, Poland and Great Britain are quick alike at this tournament. Both physical and strong and enjoy playing that side of the game as well. They’ve also got great passing and both know where the net is.

But the key attribute that Poland displayed today was mental toughness. We’ve seen a lot of teams over the years subjected the type of pressure that Korea put on them especially in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd period, but they steadfastly refused to crack. This was impressive and if GB think they will be able to simply pressure their way to a win, they may as well hand the Gold Medal to Poland now.

Korea need to work on their mental strength

For long parts of the game, Korea looked truly superb. Forechecking and backchecking as good as we’ve ever seen at this level of women’s hockey and looked truly fierce. But the goal rocked them and almost immediately their shape began to deteriorate which hurt them. While here at 482Days we think it was a poor decision from the referee to allow Poland’s second goal, Korea should of played to the whistle and protected their netminder better, which they didn’t.

They’ve still got time, but this is a key aspect of their game that they will need to improve upon ahead of the Winter Olympics where they will be up against higher quality opposition than at this tournament.

DPR have to be ready to play from the first puck drop in future

For a first seeded team to be two goals down in three minutes isn’t acceptable and DPR Korea will know that. They’ll have to start quicker in their final two games. With their next game against Slovenia, a similar start could be a tougher test and that would be a far more difficult position to get them out of.

Slovenia are on their way back and looking to develop

We said it in our team preview that we felt that Slovenia were a side on the way back. It may sound strange to say this after the scoreline tonight, but we do feel that there are genuine signs of life within the programme. The passing was good, as was the skating and in some areas they have some real quality. Icing a 15 year old Goalkeeper in Pia Dukaric against GB was a huge for them, it’s a great stage to make your debut and she’ll of learnt a ton and is already a good talent with plenty of time to learn.

We know that they also need to work on a lot, but for us, there’s green shoots coming up in the Slovenian programme for sure. They just need to keep at it.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

We know there’s people asking what GB need to do. So ahead of the crunch clash on Thursday, we’ve put together this (very) short piece. We’ll have full permutations on where the medals are going at the end of Thursday (or earlier depending on how the games go)

In short: GB need to beat Poland by two goals or more

In long: If GB beat Poland by two goals or more on Thursday then they are in a superb position to claim gold. A two or more goal win would a) give GB the tie-breaker on a head to head and b) secure any three way mini-group between Great Britain, Poland and Korea.

While a one goal win would give GB the head to head over Poland, it would probably create a mini group assuming that Korea beat Croatia and Slovenia. In that group, Poland win gold, GB could take silver if they score at least three.

Mathematics available on request. Tweet us (@482days) if you want them.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

FINAL: Great Britain (2-1) 6 – 0 Slovenia (1-2)

Story of the Game:

30 Seconds: was all it took for GB to get on the board from a beaut of a finish from Leanne Ganney. Set up by Bethany Hill, Ganney took the puck and shot it top left to give GB the shot start they needed. Even did it shorthanded.

Jackson called into action early: Two penalty kills meant that Nicole Jackson had to make some early key saves for GB. Slovenia outshot GB 6-4 in the early stages of the game. This would continue for the next few minutes as Slovenia worked incredibly hard to try and get back into ths game.

Slovenian pressure: Slovenia had all the pressure in the latter stages of the period and while GB would have good one off attacks with the hosts that looked to have the better chances and for a little while, GB looked disjointed. But then again..

Pivotal goal to GBCometh the hour, cometh Sophie Herbert, an experienced head for GB who cooly slotted the puck home after being setup by Lauren Halliwell and Chrissie Newman. And with that GB pushed on with Kim Lane scoring just a minute afterwords to give GB a comfortable three-nil lead into the first break.

Dukaric stands on her head: Two, no make that three key saves for Dukaric who it’s amazing to think is making her full International Debut at just 15 years of age. Now that Slovenia are practically assured staying up, you can see why they have brought her in. Not the finished article, but the potential is there for sure.

Powerplay, powerplay, powerplay!: GB get a long advantage after Slovenia take three minor penalties in less than 30 seconds. Dukaric once again stands on her head as as GB up it to 21 shots in the first 14 minutes of the period. In the end, Louise Adams scores and absolute beaut of a goal from a slapshot on the blueline.

Great finish to the period: GB put 26 shots on the Slovenian net in total in this period and fully deserved a fifth goal from Katie Henry who lifted the puck top left to fully seal the tie for GB, if it wasn’t sealed before.

CJ Ashton: back in the goals! GB started off the period brightly for sure and it didn’t get long to get on the board. After a good looking PP, Ashton scored for GB for the third time this tournament.  She nearly added a few more near the end of the game as well

Great commitment in a won game: Sarah Hutchinson pulled off an inch perfect dive to deny Slovenia’s Pia Pren taking the puck off her a fraction of a second before she was going to shoot.

Game Misconduct, early bath for Durnell: Our twitter called it at the same as a 50/50, where the player bounced off the Durnell into the boards, still, it was a 5+GM call and GB had to defend on the PK for almost the rest of the game.

Penalty killed and Jackson secures the shutout: It was very pleasing to see the five minute major killed off and as well as killing that off Nicole Jackson secured a fantastic 26 shot shutdown. Especially the first period, when Slovenia came and attacked GB from the start she laid the platform for the victory. It looks like she’s GB number 1 for this tournament, and played like it tonight.

482 (or less) things we saw:

  • Slovenia do love a bit of tippy-tappy tic-tac-toe passing. Really effective in front of net as well.
  • Even with a crowd that wasn’t the biggest, a great atmosphere here tonight.
  • GB are almost preparing for their match against Poland with their physical play today. No doubt they are up for this, but GB are sending a message with every shift.
  • Slovenia weren’t prepared to take that physicality however. Very tough game of hockey
  • Sara Confidenti, number 8 for Slovenia, just 18 years of age is another player for Slovenia to watch out for in the future, she’s looked dangerous all night.
  • GB’s third line but in a hard graft tonight, but it really paid off. They can be really proud of their efforts.
  • Chrissy Newman’s experience was key here in setting up the second goal, just when GB were in danger of slipping on the rocks. Key senior experience.

Best Team Won? No doubt here. GB best in all categories.

#refwatch: Debbie Hengst is a good ref, no doubt about it. She loves to call penalties, but it’s same for both sides and that’s all you can ask for.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

FINAL: Korea (2-1) 1 – 2 Poland (3-0)

Story of the Game:

Korea off to a flyer: Well perhaps not in goals but in terms of play, Korea came out of the blocks flying at both ends of the ice with some good chances and even more importantly their defence winning a footrace that prevented a breakaway.

First powerplay crucial: A penalty to Poland at 5:58 saw the first big test between two PP units that have been firing all tournament. Poland killed it and managed to organise themselves better. It did feel that if Korea had scored it would of been a huge blow to the Polish side.

Outstanding end of the first: Both sides then absolutely went for it in the last six/seven minutes to try and get the early advantages but solid goalkeeping from Shin So Jung  and Martyna Sass kept both sides in it. Korea then took a clipping penalty shortly before the end of the period which you’d think would have given Poland the edge but Korea dominated the neutral zone and didn’t give up a shot.

10 minutes of Korean domination: Into the 2nd and it was nothing but Korean attacks wave after wave of them. A PP chance for Korea didn’t help matters for Poland but Martyna Sass for the Poles was incredible saving shot after shot. In fact it took Poland 9 minutes 48 seconds to get their first shot on goal.

Poland didn’t panic: And immediately when Poland got a PP they had some great chances on the net. PP didn’t pay off, but Poland got right back into it including a great chance for Karolina Pozniewska, probably the first genuine scoring chance of the game for Poland. And towards they end of the period, they really should of scored once, if not twice after a beautiful setup play by Kamila Weczorek. It was a spectacular end to the period, that’s for sure.

Nervy start to the 3rd: Starting the third, looked like the pressure was getting to both sides. Players falling over, passes going everywhere. Was it going to create a goal? It sure did…

GOAL Poland!: And they deserved it. Superb work from Maria Bigos behind the net and who set it up behind the net, passing out to Katarzyna Frankowiak in the slot, unopposed and shot high right to give the Poles the lead.

And another!: In controversial scenes, a hard shot hit the Korean goalkeepers mask, but the referee didn’t stop play and Poland’s Frackowiak got her 2nd of the game. We didn’t like it in the press box

Late goal for Korea!: Just when you thought this game couldn’t get any more tense, Korea score with 32 seconds left from Ye Eun Park. But it’s not enough! Poland win it amid incredible scenes in Bled!

482 (or less) things we saw:

  • Forecheck, backcheck, forecheck, backcheck. The Korean side didn’t stop at any point.
  • Props to Polish defencewoman who having lost her stick opted for a bit of a “hip-shove” (as opposed to hip-check) about as much as you can get away with under the rules without getting called for Bodychecking
  • Intermission figure skating! Got the crowd going!
  • Poland’s passing isn’t always great, but when it’s good, it’s really worth watching. Some fantastic moves.
  • Korea are so much better than they used to be. Hard working, attacking, and close you down before you have a chance to breathe. But, when it comes to creating scoring opportunities, they struggled. We call it as 6-1 win to Poland in scoring chances.
  • Finally, a simply wonderful game of hockey. Tournament is blown wide open now.

Best Team Won? Yes. The scoring opportunities, the mental toughness and the physicality, all reasons why Poland deserved it this afternoon.

#refwatch: It’s fair to say that we didn’t really agree with a lot of the key decisions this referee made. Penalties of both sides were strange and decided the game on a controversial goal. Poor.

Posted in GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

Photo Credit: Drago Cvetanovic

Final: DPR Korea (2-1) 8 – 2 Croatia (1-2)

Story of the game:

What a start…: It’s amazing what an early goal can do. Coming into the rink and the game, there’s not many people that would of given the Croatians a sniff in this game at all, never mind them going 2-0 up early. The truth is that it was fully deserved to take the lead, a true team goal set up Sara Metelko for the finish, pinging it off the left hand post. Shortly after, a bit of an own goal but one made by true offensive pressure. Croatia went 2-0 up.

…but it wouldn’t last: DPR Korea’s Song Hui Ryo got her first of the tournament taking her chance nicely after the Croatian defenders backed off a little bit too much and shortly after with 3:15 left in the first, Un Gyong Choe made it 2-2 with a goal from the right. It looked from the press box that the Croatians surprised even themselves with the start but weren’t able to maintain it.

Four on four hockey turned the game: After zero penalties in the first period, two in short succession made it four on four which suited DPR Korea far more than Croatia did. Song Hai Han scored her 2nd of the tournament on a lovely move, cutting through the Croat defence and shooting top left.

It was all DPR Korea from there on: Jong Hui Choe made it 4-2 to DPR Korea and they didn’t look back. In the third, they scored two in the opening 150 seconds to cement the victory. DPR Korea dominated the period in terms of possession and added two more goals in the middle of the period from Choe Jon Hui and Kim Kum Bok to makes it 8-2 and seal the win. Overall DPR Korea outshot Croatia 54 to 15 overall and made it a very comfortable win by the end.

482 (or less) things we saw:

  • DPR Korea might be weakened but in terms of forward movement, they’ve still got it in spades.
  • Croatia probably have the ability at this level, but they don’t have the confidence at the moment, especially defensively
  • And on that note, Croatia tired in the third period, hence the scoreline.
  • DPR Korea love to hang a forward high on the attacking blue-line. Do it all the time.
  • Peta Belobrk, Croatia’s netminder seemed to get better as the game went on in terms of growing in confidence. Played well today, wasn’t the reason why Croatia lost, although she’ll take the 5th goal back.
  • One of the linesmen has the most amazing, over the top offside signal. She started it on the boards, ended up in the high slot.
  • No matter what sport it is, wherever in the world, you’ll always find a small bunch of Croatian fans when their team is playing singing their heart out.
  • At times, the Croatian side looks more organised defensively on the PK than 5 on 5 play

Best team won? No doubt about the result on this one.

#refwatch:  Dina Allen is a quality, quality referee. Top marks from us here at 482 Days.

Posted in GB Women 2016

April 5th, 2016 by Richard

It’s time for Matchday 3 of this Women’s World Championship and the first that we’ll be reporting from live today! We’ll we reporting live both on the website and our twitter today and we’ll bring you live reports from the games as well as all the reaction from the three games today. 

All times BST.

12:00 – DPR Korea (0-2) vs Croatia (0-2)

Prior to the tournament, if either side had told you that this was down to be a relegation decider involving the first and fifth seeds, very, very few people would of believed you, but that’s what’s at stake today for sure.

For DPR Korea, they’ll be determined to bounce back here, a third defeat in a row would be simply unthinkable. Despite the two sides results, you’d still have DPR Korea as heavy favourites today. Croatia have to find some scoring from somewhere, putting just two goals in the opposition net while shipping 25 at the other end.

For us here, this game is all about the start. If Croatia get off to a good start in the game then they might have a chance to pull off a shock, but even so, it’ll still take something very special indeed for DPR Korea to not get their first win of the tournament here.

15:30 – Korea (2-0) vs Poland (2-0)

Gold Medal Game? We’re used to them for sure in international ice hockey in group play, but this ones a little bit different. It’s undeniably a Gold Medal Game for Korea, it would be difficult to see them not getting the points they would require against Croatia and hosts Slovenia.

As for Poland, a win for them would still leave them with a huge game against Great Britain, so it’s more like an eliminator game for the Polish this afternoon. As the game itself, this should be an absolute cracker. Both teams undefeated, and Poland have the slight edge in knowing that they won by a higher margin against DPR Korea (5 goals) than Korea (3 games).

In a lot of ways, this is a game between Korea’s special teams scoring and Poland’s out and out scoring averaging nine goals a game so far. This is the key game of the day today and one that GB will be looking out for without a doubt. A Poland win, and the tournament is blown wide open again, including GB’s chances for gold.

This is going to be close.

19:00 – Great Britain (1-1) vs Slovenia (1-1)

Our first chance to see Great Britain this tournament and it should be a great atmosphere against the hosts. Slovenia, promoted from the pool below last season have all but secured their place in this division this time already.

Great Britain will undoubtedly be disappointed with the defeat on Sunday, but will be determined to put in a good performance against the hosts tonight in a good crowd (Slovenia have had crowds of 600 in their first game and 860 in their derby tie against Croatia)

We love a good stat here at 482days and have noted Slovenia’s 64-65% faceoff percentage, it’s something GB will need to be mindful off, especially if the goals don’t come early. Slovenia will be delighted with the result and scoreline against Croatia and that’ll give them confidence ahead of this game.

We think that GB will take this reasonably comfortably tonight, but ahead of a key tie against Poland on Thursday, it’s all about the performance for GB today as much as it is the result.

482Days will be live from the Bled Ice Hall from 11am UK time today for full coverage of all three games today on the website and on twitter @482days.

Posted in GB Teams, GB Women 2016