Kazakhstan beats Slovakia to set up semifinal clash with Sweden in Women's Ice Hockey

18.01.2012 12:37

INNSBRUCK. January 18. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan will face highly-rated Sweden in the semifinals of the Women's Ice Hockey competition at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, thanks to a gutsy 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Tuesday.

It was the Kazakhs' first victory in three games, while Slovakia remains without a win, Thiam Peng Tan reports.

"I'm so happy it's hard to describe. I'm just boiling inside. I almost had tears in my eyes," captain Anastassiya MATUSSEVICH (KAZ), who scored her team's crucial second goal, said.

Kazakhstan will face Sweden on Friday and will be looking to tighten up in defence for the match, having lost 17-0 against the Swedes earlier in the preliminary round.

With a medal now within touching distance for the Kazakhs, MATUSSEVICH is hopeful of a podium place, but is clearly not full of confidence ahead of the Sweden game.

"We want to take the Bronze medal. We didn't come here just for fun," she said.

MATUSSEVICH gave her teammates a scare in the first period when she limped off the ice after throwing herself in front of her goal to block a shot, but she returned to score in the crucial third period.

According toBoxscore World Sportswire, the Slovak players were inconsolable at the end of the match, crying on the ice and rushing back to their dressing room.

"They're a strong team and really focused. But the best team won," MATUSSEVICH said.

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