Historic win of Slovakia’s U16 women's ice hockey team in the Youth Olympic Games with an amazing performance of our Nina Hudáková
From 9th - 22nd January, Swiss city Lausanne became the main scene of the third Winter Youth Olympic Games. The total number of sports-men and sports-women, who came in order to pit their skills in 16 different disciplines, reached 1,800. Slovakia had 49 competitors in 10 different disciplines. HC Košice also had its team member there, our talented women's ice hockey forward, Nina Hudáková. And it was her U16 women's hockey team that managed to gain Slovakia’s first Olympic medal in Lausanne, making it a historical record for the Slovak colors. Their path to success began in the first round, when they played against the teams of Sweden and Germany.
In the first game of the preliminaries, our players performed against Sweden wearing the Slovak double-cross on their chests. It was the Slovak team's captain, Kapičová, who opened the score, our Nina’s assisted. The talent from Košice contributed to Slovakia's second goal as well with another assist for Belková's goal. The duel against the "three crowns" was very tight, and it had to be decided by penalty shootouts. Unfortunately, our girls were the less lucky ones. They lost 3-2 to the Swedish, but they gained 1 valuable point.
If our girls wanted to event think about advancing from the first round, they had to defeat Germans during regulation. They managed to fulfill their pre-game aim by defeating their German peers 2-1, securing them 3 points and advance into semi-finals from the 2nd place. It was Donovalová, who scored, and Kapičáková who capitalized a penalty shootout for Slovakia. In the semi-finals, our girls played against the confidential Japanese, who dominated the group without losing any points. Our players were not able to stop the Japanese either. Slovaks lost 5-0, which meant they would fight over bronze medals. In the last and the most important game of the tournament, Slovaks played against the home Swiss, aiming to strike back after our loss in Lillehammer in 2016. Back then, our girls lost 2-5 in the fight over bronze against the Swiss team.
The score was opened by the home players. However, the joy didn't take too long, as Nina Hudáková scored her first tournament goal. The game-winning goal was scored by Janeková, with Nina's assist. Our girls managed to keep the one-goal leading till the end of the game. After the final whistle, the Slovak bench burst with happiness.
Slovaks won 2-1 against the Swiss and gained our country the historically first bronze Olympic medals from the hockey tournament.
Except for the whole team’s success, we are extremely glad for our Nina Hudáková who became the most productive player of the tournament with her 4 points for 1 goal and 3 assists!
5. CZECH REPUBLIC
Congratulations to our bronze medals winners and great thanks to Nina Hudáková for representing our club in such a spectacular way!