Czech Republic and Italy Qualify for Vancouver 2010
14 May 2009
The teams of Czech Republic and Italy were the last two teams at the 2009 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships that qualified directly for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
After three losses in a row, the Czech players pulled themselves together and defeated Korea in the play-off round 5-1. During the first two periods, both teams played on an equal level, scoring one goal each. But motivated by the spectators, the Czech team stepped up its performance in the third period, scoring three goals and securing the first win of the tournament. The Czech Republic will face Italy in the next game to determine the 5th and 6th place of the World Championships.
Italy had to play against Germany in their play-off game. Germany gained the lead in the first period by a goal from Bleidorn, but Italy managed to tie the score in the second period. No goals were scored in the third period and also in the overtime, therefore the penalty shoot-out had to determine the winner. Italy prevailed in the end and is the sixth team that qualified for the Vancouver Paralympics next year.
Germany and Korea will have to play a Paralympic Qualifier later this year against the finalists of the 2009 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (B Tournament), Estonia and Sweden.