International Ice Hockey Federation

Kadirova stars in win

Kadirova stars in win

Russia beats Czechs, quarter-finals set

Published 11.01.2016 19:38 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Kadirova stars in win
ST. CATHARINES, CANADA - JANUARY 11: Team Russia celebrates a first period goal during preliminary round action against Team Czech Republic at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The sensational Fanuza Kadirova had two goals and an assist to lead Russia to a tense 3-2 win over the Czech Republic.

With the win Russia finishes in third place in Group A and will face Finland in one quarter-final tomorrow. In the other, the Czechs will play Sweden.

Russia dominated for much of the game, but two late goals from the Czechs put a scare into them. "It was a good lesson for us," Kadirova said. "We weren't preapred for them in the third period, and we got what we deserved."

The only goal of the opening period came on a typically high-skill effort from the diminutive Russian captain Kadirova. She came out of the corner and deked her way to the goal, but her quick shot was stopped by Katerina Zechovska. The goalie couldn’t corral the loose puck, however, and Kadirova batted it in out of the air at 6:54. Video review confirmed the goal was legal.

"I've seen a lot of videos of Ovechkin scoring like that, so I tried my best to do the same thing, and I succeeded. Those videos really help me understand the game."

In the second period she made a great slap-pass to Yelena Vodopyanova on a power play. Standing to the side of the goal, Vodopyanova merely got her stick down on the ice and redirected Kadirova’s hard pass nto the open side at 4:51.

But Kadirova’s piece de resistance came at 9:10. Getting the puck at centre, she blew by defenceman Anna Zikova and went in alone on goal, roofing a backhand over Zechovska’s glove for a highlight-reel score.

"In moments like that, I don't even know what I'm doing," she explained. "It feels like my legs just take over."

The Czechs scored at 7:39 of the final period on a pretty play in close. Barbora Patockova slid the puck from behind the icing line to Klara Hymlarova in front, and Hymlarova snapped it in before goalie Valiera Tarakanova could react.

Playing with greater confidence, they got to within a  goal at 12:23 on a power play. The puck came in front, and as Tarakanova reached out with her stick to try to poke it away, she was beaten to the puck by Martina Zednikova, who pushed it past the prone goaltender.

All of a sudden, a game that had been dominated by the Russians looked like it might slip away. But, the Russians withstood the pressure of the situation and prevailed.


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