Slovakia wins 5th place – 09.12.2017

Slovakia battled for the 5th place at the World Championships against Latvia. They again had a big advantage in form of the half-full Nepelu Arena in Bratislava. Slovakian flags were seen almost everywhere and Slovakian players could do their best, motivated by drums of their fans.

First one to score was Paulina Hudakova, with a strong and stout shot. Slovakia then managed to keep Latvia under pressure and did not allow them to create almost any scoring chances. It was definitely a tough match for Latvia’s defense as Hudakova and Sponiarova were really pushing hard in Slovakia’s offense.

Things got even harder for Latvia in the first period when Diana Isjomina was given a 2-minute penalty and Latvia had to defend Slovakia’s powerplay. For the whole time, Slovakia was pressing Latvia, but did not manage to score.

Three minutes to the end of the first period, Michaela Sponiarova scored and increased Slovakia’s lead to 2-0.

The whole match, Latvia struggled in the offense, unable to create scoring chances. This was finally broken by Zeltite Bankava who cut down the score to 2-1. Slovakia then had a chance to take back the two-goal difference when they played another powerplay, but did not manage to use it again.
In the third period, Michaela Sponiarova scored to make the score 3-1 but almost immediately after that, Latvia lessened the score to 3-2 with a goal by Ieva Priede. Nine minutes to the end of the match, Latvia managed to equalize the game for the first time when Paula Egle scored.

Kristina Hudakova put Slovakia back in the lead six minutes before the end of the match, starting a thrilling end of this game. Kristina Hudakova added another goal and made it 5-3 in the 59th minute. However, Latvia was fighting very hard and twenty seconds to the end, Liga Gargklava cut down the score to 5-4. Unfortunately for them, Denisa Ferencikova scored an empty-netter and confirmed Slovakia’s victory and the 5th place at the World Championhips.

Best players:
Slovakia: #24 Lucia Kosturiakova
Latvia: #13 Gunita Karklina