Slovak hockey representatives successfully entered the Olympic qualification. In their opening match in Bratislava Group D, they defeated Austria 2:1 only on Thursday.
The next two teams will meet on Friday with the Poles (19.15), who surprisingly won the opening match of the tournament 1:0 over Belarus.
The Slovaks played the match on top of the Ondrej Nipel Ice Stadium from the start. Already in the second minute they took the lead thanks to Libor Hudáček, in the middle of the match Martin Gernát increased the cannon’s shot.
In the third period, coach Craig Ramsey’s accusations allowed the opponent to return to the match after Brian Liebler’s successful finish, but they maintained a close lead at the finish and scored a winning start to the final tournament of the Olympic qualifiers.
The only winner of the Bratislava event is the qualifier for the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. In the main group C of the Olympic tournament, he will meet with the Swedes, Finns and other successful qualifiers.
ZOH 2022 Qualifiers – Group D (Bratislava):
Austria – Slovakia 1:2 (0:1, 0:1, 1:0)
Objectives: 53. Lebler (Heinrich) – 2. Hudáek (erešňák), 29. Gernát (erešňák, Studeni). Judges: Hansen (NOR), Öhlund (Sweden) – Hynek (CZE), Kröyer (DEN), disqualification: 7:4 for two minutes, power-ups and weakness: 0:0, 4241 spectators.
Austria: Kickert – Strong, Unterweger, Heinrich, Schumnig, Pallestang, Ulmer, Zündel, Wolf – Schneider, Hundertpfund, Ganahl – T. Raffl, Baumgartner, Herburger – Lebler, Rossi, Zwerger – Wukowits, Haudum, Obrist
Slovakia: Konrád – Marinčin, Jaroš, erešňák, Gernát, Grman, Kňažko, aloga, Nemec – Cehlárik, Hrivík, Jurčo – Pospíšil, Ružička, Lantoši – Studenič, Hudáekaf, Daňelemen –
The Slovaks made an excellent start to the match. The second formation immediately closed during the first switch the Austrians into their defensive zone, and erešňák signaled a shot, but instead loaded Hudáček, who burned Kickert from the first – 0:1. Ramsay’s charges did not stop the flight or weaken, they successfully defended themselves in and, after its end, Daňo hit the Austrian goal-builder from an angle. He also threatened the opponent for a while, but Conrad reliably covered all attempts to shoot.
In the ninth minute, Clement broke through solo, although he did not beat Kickert, but he was fouled and got a big advantage. After Zündel threw the disc out of the playing area, Slovakia had the opportunity to play 109 seconds of strong play by two players, but they did not take advantage of a great opportunity, defender Jaroš and Marinčina did not find their goal.
The Slovak national team continued its activity in the second half. In the 24th minute, Germain supported the attack, at the last moment Untrueger blocked his attempt. After Jurč’s pass, Cehlárik had a great opportunity to increase his lead, but only Kickert fired close. The Slovaks played with a movement in front, but sometimes there were holes in the defense, the Austrians made a quick dash. Konrad had to be on guard, in the 26th minute he hit a powerful Herberger chance, then squandered the exposed goalpost in the strong Austrian play.
The players in white shirts continued to move forward and in the 29th minute scored the second goal – Gernat hit hard from the rack and the disc after the cannon fell on Kickert’s goal. Gernat liked it and shortly after renumbering on the hockey stick had another goal, the ball flew over the Austrian goal. The Slovaks dominated on the ice, in the 37th minute Ruika was caught by Ruick with Kickert’s concrete, immediately neutralizing Kelemen’s two attempts. Cehlárik and Slafkovský continued at the Missed Opportunities Festival.
The Slovaks’ lead by two goals after thirds didn’t give the Slovaks a definite win yet, so they skated hard in the third half, in order to add a reassuring goal-securing. After Dan’s cross pass, Studenich was close to her, but Kickert grabbed him. The Austrians still sensed an opportunity, after a mistake by the Slovaks in the defensive zone, Lippert shot dangerously and Konrad hit the puck into the safety net.
Then the goalkeeper of the Slovak Republic saved with his team several times, but in the 53rd minute it was not enough to reach Leppler – 1: 2. The Austrians returned to the match, but after a difficult intervention from Haudum on Grman, they weakened the play and Jurčo came close during the goal. Then the Austrians did not use the promising renumbering from 2 to 1 to weaken them. In the end, they tried it in the six without a goalkeeper, but the Slovaks defended their close lead.
D-Group Qualifications Table:
1. Slovakia 1 1 0 0 0 2: 1 3
2. Poland 1 1 0 0 0 1: 0 3
3. Austria 1 0 0 0 1 1: 2 0
4. Belarus 1 0 0 0 1 0: 1 0
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