National Womens Team strike gold in Spain

NWT 16 wins gold

The Australian Women Win Gold!

The National Women’s Team headed overseas two weeks ago with one job on
their minds, to win Gold and advance into Div II Group A of the IIHF World
Championships. Today they did just that.

The girls played hard from the opening drop in their final round robin game
against Iceland. They had a few chances early but it was Del Basso who found
the net at the 6 minute mark. The score remained 1-0 for the first period
and much of the second until a beautiful wrist shot from Lehmann went over
the goalies right shoulder on the power play giving them a 2-0 lead. Iceland
hit back just a minute later going in to the second break 2-1 to Australia.
A nerve wracking third period had scoring chances from both teams, with
Australia eventually winning 3-2 in a thrilling end to the NWT campaign.

The National Women’s team landed in Prague on 23 February and commenced
their pre-worlds training camp at the HC Spata Prague rink and facilities.
Newly appointed Head Coach Lindsay McAlpine joined the team from MacEwan
University, Edmonton in her native country, Canada.

The NWT spent five days in training camp playing a mix of practice games and
training sessions, including one practice game against Spain where they went
down 6-3.

They headed to IIHF World Championships, this year held in Jaca, Spain after
the tournament had a late venue change from Turkey due to recent terrorist
activity and safety. Their campaign kicked off against Mexico and we saw a
tight game where both teams scored one goal, but could not go on to close
out the game. After five minutes of over time and still locked at 1-1, the
game went to a shoot out. After three shots each, Mexico found the back of
the net twice to NWT once giving them the win for 2 points and 1 point to
the Aussie girls.

Next up saw them against Turkey the newcomers to this division. It was
familiar ground for the NWT players as the Turkey goalie is none other than
our own Sera Dogramaci. The NWT showed Turkey what it was like to be in this
Division handing them a 12-0 defeat and collecting their 3 points for the
win.

After a day off, the girls met most recent years’ nemesis New Zealand. Not
to mention the classic Australian-New Zealand rivalry as well, however it
was sweet revenge time for the Australian girls handing them a thumping 12-1
defeat, showing the Kiwi neighbours that Australian Women’s hockey is in a
good place.

The second break of the tournament saw the girls rest and recover for their
first big test of the Championships. Spain were sitting on top of the round
robin with 3 wins under their belt and the upper hand having beaten the NWT
only last week. In front of a huge home crowd and after going down 1-0 in
the opening 5 mins, the Aussie girls dug deep and played hard to get on top
and chip away at the Spanish defense. The whole team came together and
goalie Michelle Coonan made some big saves when needed and the girls slowly
crept ahead goal by goal eventually winning a fantastic game 4-1.

Best Player of the Game Awards were:
Shona Powell vs Mexico
Alivia Del Basso vs Turkey
Sharna Godfrey vs New Zealand
Rylie Padjen vs Spain
Sari Lehmann vs Iceland

Player of Team Australia for tournament – Alivia Del Basso

Best Forward for the entire tournament – Alivia Del Basso