The medal games here in Prague didn’t disappoint. Austria took Bronze and Russia were crowned European Champions in a thrilling Final against Poland.

Turkey v Austria 

In the Bronze medal game, Austria had the better of the first half. The won a corner in the 2nd minute but the ball popped up dangerously off a Austrian stick. A second corner in the 5th  minute and a direct shot from BUCHTA put them ahead. A wonderful reverse strike from STEYRER and Austria were 2-0 ahead after 14. Turkey pressed hard and it took some brave defending from Austria in the 17th minute kept a clean sheet and just before the half BUCHTA made it 3 for Austria.

Turkey came out after the break rejuvenated and won and early corner, however the stop wasn’t good and CINAR had no opportunity to make a clean strike. A second corner was awarded as the ball was trapped in the goalie pads, this time the variation didn’t work. Turkey had yet to get on the score sheet.  With 10 to go Austria had dropped into a defensive position as Turkey tried to find a way through to no avail. With 6 to go Turkey took off their keeper, but then when a stroke was awarded against them, this forced them to sub back on their keeper. Austria’s 4th goal came from an attacking run from BUCHTA supported by RUBAS. BUCHTA wrong footed the keeper and gave a sublime pass to RUBAS who slotted it home to stretch the lead 4-0 for Austria. Turkey finally got on the scoresheet via CINAR but it was too little too late and Austria take Bronze for the first time since 1991. Turkey finish 4th which is one better since their debut in this Tournament in 2013.

Turkey v Austria. Final Score

AUT ‘5 31 BUCHTA Daria PC 0-1
AUT ’14 13 STEYRER Lisa FG 0-2
AUT ’19 31 BUCHTA Daria PC 0-3
AUT ’35 24 RUBAS Rafaela FG 0-4

The Final:

Russia v Poland

A very tight first half with both teams being patient an awaiting chances to build attacks. Russia earned a PC in the 6th minute but some excellent team defending by Poland and the deadlock remained. Russia were first on the scoreboard in the 13th minute via a BORISOVA shot.Russia stepped up their attack and once again BORISOVA found the net. In the last 2 minutes of the game Poland were pressing with solid attacks but Russia defended well apart from a momentary lapse when they conceded a PC in the dying seconds and the score remained 2-0 at half time.

At the start of the second half Poland scored a 21′ – nice shot by MISIAK after combination with WESSOLOWSKA, BORISOVA scored again in the 24th minute to extend the lead 3-1. Some seriously brave defending from Russia in the second half as they stretched their lead via BORISOVA 3-1. BORISOVA scored again, a cracking flat shot from the top of the circle and Poland were struggling to find a way through. SLAWINSKA scored a PC in the 35th minute and Poland resorted to a power play without their keeper. A frantic last few minutes and Poland and Russia both scored, the final result 5-3 to Russia.
Russia v Poland. Final Score

RUS ’13 13 BORISOVA FG 1-0
RUS ’15 13 BORISOVA FG 2-0
POL ’21 5 MISAK FG FG 2-1
RUS 24’13 BORISOVA FG 3-1
RUS 35′ 13 BORISOVA FG 4-1
POL 35′ 15 SLAWINSKA PC 4-2
POL 39′ 9 WYPIJEWSKA  FG 4-3
RUS 40′ 13 BORISOVA 5-3

Final Ranking:

1 Russia EuroHockey Indoor Junior Champions 2015
2 Poland
3 Austria
4 Turkey
5 Czech Republic
6 Belarus
7 Switzerland
8 Slovakia

Individual Awards:

Fair Play Award – Poland

Best Player – Perihan KÜÇÜKKOÇ

Best Goal Keeper – Barbora CECHAKOVA

Top Scorer – Valeriia BORISOVA

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Main photograph:  (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))