2:4 against Germany, 0:6 against Sweden and a 0:7 against the USA. So far there hasn’t been much to gain for Austria’s U20 ice hockey team at the World Championships in Edmonton. The duels against Sweden and Switzerland in particular once again showed how superior these nations are. Just 24 hours after the 6-0 defeat by Sweden, the defending champions USA were waiting. Austria was able to make the game against the United States more open, especially in the last third.
“As the game progressed, the boys skated more and accepted and won the duels, especially in front of their own goal. We then worked better against the target, we were also a bit more effective at the forecheck. In the last third we were significantly less in our own zone, defensively more stable and we moved the disc faster,” said coach Philipp Pinter after the defeat against the USA.
However, all is not lost yet. Because even the last opponent in the group phase, Switzerland has zero points on the account. The duel against the Swiss will be a key game in Group B for Austria. If you win, you advance to the quarterfinals. “Now it’s a decider against Switzerland, depending on the result of the Germany game we have to beat the Swiss, either after 60 minutes or in overtime. In this game we have to play perfect ice hockey right from the start, especially defensively,” says Pinter.
The calculation is simple: the winner after 60 minutes or after overtime advances. Switzerland also suffered a clear 1:7 defeat against the USA. The first game against Sweden, however, could be made tight at 2:3. In the last group game there was a 2:3 against Germany. “We need a great goalkeeping performance, we need to be disciplined. The special teams will be important, if we have chances to score we have to take one or the other. Switzerland is the favourite, but there’s nothing better than a decisive game like that,” says the head coach on the Austrian bench.
If the ÖEHV juniors can prevail against Switzerland, either Canada or Finland will be waiting in the quarter-finals. The two teams meet on Tuesday (12:00 a.m.). The Canadians lead the table with nine points. However, the Suomi is only one point behind. So it’s still about winning the group. However, the quarter-final duel between the USA and the Czech Republic is already fixed. The remaining pairings are still being determined.