After defeating the Czechs 2-0, Team Russia moves on to meet USA in the semifinals of the IIHF’s U18 Women’s World Championship. They’ll face the Americans without two of their players who have been suspended following an illegal hit and a brawl in Wednesday’s game.
Late in the match, Russia’s Oxana Bratisheva was given a major penalty and game misconduct for a checking to the head (Rule 124) of Czech captain Klara Hymlarova, who had to be helped off the ice.
Tension remained high as the Czech Republic – with the goaltender pulled – continued to pressure the Russians. The two teams came together in the crease, pushing and shoving after the whistle. Eight players – four per side – were sent off for roughing.
Russian captain Nina Pirogova and Kristyna Kaltounkova of the Czech Republic were ejected for fighting.
From the IIHF:
As the middle frame wore on, the play became increasingly physical, as the two teams stretched the legal limits of body-checking in the women’s game, which foreshadowed what was to come. Swedish Referee Katarina Timglas let a lot of it go, which provided the fans with some entertaining moments, but eventually penalties had to be called.
Timglas and linesmen Magdalena Cerhitova and Stephanie Gagnon certainly had their hands full at the end. When the dust settled, the two teams had combined for 113 penalty minutes.
“It’s important to [protect] your goalie and prevent any aggression from the opposite team,” Pirogova told FHR.ru. “They started to attack [Russian goaltender] Valeria Merkusheva. I stuck up for our goaltender. Hopefully, I gave my teammates even more emotions for the next game.”
They might need her emotions, as they won’t have her on the ice for the game.
Pirogova has been suspended one game for “repeatedly punching” Czech forward Natalie Mlynkova in the head.
Braisheva will also miss the game against the US after the IIHF’s Disciplinary Panel “determined that the player’s action was dangerous and, as a result, imposed a one-game suspension.”
(Stick tap to /r/hockey)