After Day 1 in the EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Prague, it is Germany and Austria who top Pool A and Pool B respectively with a maximum of 6 points each. With Russia, Poland, Czech Republic and The Netherlands all on 3points a piece, Saturday mornings match-ups are vital to secure semi-final slots for 2 or these 4 contenders.

 

10:00GER – POLPool A4 – 1 (2 – 0)

In the opening game of the tournament we saw stars from Germany face strong team from Poland. In the first twenty minutes Germany locked Polish players in their half and few attempts by the Polish were quickly solved by German defenders. The score at half time read 2:0 for Germany. Poland levelled the game in the first minutes of second half, unfortunately for them the Germans managed to score after 5 minutes with an individual break by Herzbruch, best player of the game. The Polish did not give up and pushed forward, and decided to try power-play. The Germans used this to their advantage and confirmed their lead with fourth goal. The Polish did not stop pushing and managed to adjust the score to final 4:1 by Górny.

 

11:10RUS – SUIPool A4 – 1 (0 – 0)

In the second game we saw completely different game. The Swiss had more possession but Russians managed to defend their circle really well. First half did not see any goals and finished 0:0. The Swiss decided to put an end to this and with a beautiful individual backhand shot by Keller took the lead. The Russians answered with a pressure eleven minutes before the end and scored an equilizer by Azarov. The pressure was now on both teams and emotions heated up a little. Six minutes before final whistle The Russians scored out of nowhere by Loginov and a minute later by Proskuriakov making the score suddenly 3:1. Three minutes before end Russians scored by Lykov from a short corner

 

12:20NED – SWEPool B6 – 2 (2 – 2)

The pace of this match was really high. Six minutes into the match Sweden managed to score an opening goal by Bjorkman. A minute after that the Dutch had a short corner and Burkhardt made it 1:1. The Dutch pressed their opponents but Sweden managed to put themselves ahead via Axel Stroby. After this the Dutch pressed even more locking the Swedish in their circle. Seven minutes after the last Swedish strike the Dutch managed to equilize by van Dam. In the second half the Dutch took the initiative and took the lead by Burkhardt again. The game was surprisingly level as the team of Netherlands had a lot of trouble deciding the game for themselves. Seven minutes before the end Dutch had a chance to score by taking the penalty shot. Kranstauber did not miss and made it 4:2 for the Dutch. Burkhardt completed his hattrick few seconds later. Last goal was scored by Dutch captain Robert Tigges in the open goal a minute before full time. Final score read 6:2 for Netherlands.

 

13:30AUT – CZEPool B2 – 1 (1 – 0)

Both teams started setting up their pace patiently, game was level for a long time. Ten minutes into the match the Austrians scored an opening goal. The Czechs pushed up their pace in the second half and David Vacek managed to score the first goal for the home team on this tournament. The atmosphere picked up a lot as well as the nerves on the pitch. The Austrians had more chances to score and these paid off by them deciding the game four minutes before full time. The final score read 2:1.

 

16:00POL – SUIPool A3 – 1 (2 – 1)

Both teams are waiting for their first points of the Tournament. The team of Poland scored via Gorny for 1:0, but the reply came fast as Schwehr hit the target and tied the game. A few minutes later the Polish team punished a big error in Swiss defence and adjusted the score to 2:1. From this point, both teams started to be more careful in the defence and so the score didn’t change until halftime. In the second half the game continued at the same pace. Five minutes before full time polish stricker Gorny increased their lead by another goal to 3:1. In last minute Switzerland tried powerplay but had no luck and the score remained 3:1 for Poland.

 

17:10RUS – GERPool A4 – 8 (2 – 2)

The Russians definitely went for it in this game against Germany. They even scored first goal of the match by Zhirkov. Germany showed their experience and leveled the game with an equilizer by Hertzbruch. The game was up and down from both teams when Germany took the lead with another goal by Hertzbruch. Few seconds later Russians scored again making it 2:2. Overall this match had high standard of hockey on both sides of the pitch. At one point Russians managed to escape from their own circle to score making it 3:2 but Germans answered again with an equilizer few seconds later. It was only about twelve minutes before full time that Germans managed to increase their lead to 3:5 by Hertzbruch and Schmid. After that the Germans stroke twice by Lietz resp. Hertzbruch again. Russians did not fold their hands and answered with a goal to make it 4:7. At this point the Russians were already playing without a goalie. Germans still managed to strike again leaving the final score at 4:8 for the Germans.

 

18:20NED – AUTPool B0 – 2 (0 – 1)

The match started with aggressive play from both sides. Gradually the Netherlands held the ball more, created also couple of chances, but didn’t converted any of them. Then Austrians surprised their opponents and opened the score after an individual effort by Korper. The second half the game was up and down, but without any goals. 10 minutes before the end the Dutch received a green card, but Austria didn’t use the 1-man advantage. The Netherlands tried to tie the game, had more possession, but the score was still 1:0 against them. 3 minutes to go they pulled out the goalie, but it was Austria via Korper again, who scored the second and last goal of the match. Therefore Austrians took all 3 points and will be in the semifinals.

19:30CZE – SWEPool B5 – 3 (3 – 1)

Both Czechs and Swedish were fighting for their first tournament points. The Czechs started to play more offensively and Plochy hit the target in the 4th minute. Vudmaska kept his head cool in the Swedish circle and raised the score to 2:0. In the 10th minute the score was already 3:0 after a penalty stroke executed by Prochazka. However the Czechs continued actively and created many chances, but didn’t score any more. Until the half-time Sweden managed to adjust the score by Hemvik from a short corner. The Czechs started the second half better, Bernatek converted a short corner after he cleverly faked a pass but instead fired a shot at the goal. Then Kyndl raised the score from another penalty corner. The Swedish did not give up and scored with an excellent combination when they managed to hit an open goal. Five minutes before the end the score read 5:2 when the Swedish tried power play. This earned them a penalty stroke that was taken by Hemvik. The Czech team won their first three points into the tournament with 5:3 victory over Sweden.

 

Follow us on Twitter @eurohockeyorg #EHI2016

See Full galleries on our FaceBook Page

Follow us on Periscope

Follow us on Instagram

For Results from the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II, Espinho – click here

For Results from the EuroHockey Indoor Championship III, Vantaa – click here

Main photograph and Galleries: Philip SCHMID (FFU PRESS AGENCY COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK)