England U15â€™s first defeat
England U15 2Â Â RNK Raisio 4
A completely different story from yesterday for the first game in Fussen today.Â England faced a well drilled and highly competent Finnish team, RNK Raisio, who were brimming with technically capable players.
Raisio took an early lead through a poor line change by England and a very quick transition leading to a swift 3-on-2 breakout which left England short and found wanting for the first time in the tournament at equal strength.
As England tried to find some momentum. ill-discipline crept back in to their game and they were punished with minor penalties for very minor infringements.Â Raisioâ€™s power-play unit was very well structured and was extremely well executed with great skill and good discipline.Â
Despite this Englandâ€™s 15â€™s maintained great shape especially when 5-on-3.Â Coach Aldridge said of the PK unit â€œour PK was excellent and Hazeldineâ€™s timely intervention when 5-on-3 with a neat poke check and he was away to net Englandâ€™s first with a nice deke on the goalieâ€.
Another well worked goal from Raisio and the period ended 2-1.
England started the second period short-handed and killed the penalty only to receive another minor for hooking which left the supporters stunned.Â The Finns capitalised almost immediately with a point shot and lovely tip-in giving England goalie, Nick Winters, no chance.
As they continued to work hard to close-down Raisio, England continued to take penalties as they found it difficult to contain a technically talented and hard working Finnish unit.Â A strong fore-check leading to a turn-over in the neutral zone presented a 2-on-1 for Hazeldine and Huong who managed to pull-back to 3-2.Â As England mounted pressure and the clock counted down Coach Aldridge made a tough decision to pull goalie Winters and face-off in the offensive zone with the man advantage.Â But Raisio were really strong on the face-off draw leaving England isolated and as the puck broke free an empty net was presented from long range which was sunk along with Englandâ€™s valiant hearts.
After the game Coach Aldridge said:Â â€œI thought we came-up against a well structured unit today and they provided us with a real test.Â My team played with passion and worked hard but the penalties killed us.â€Â She went on to say. â€œAt 5-on-5 we were more than a match for the Finns.Â We were pressuring well, our turn-overs in the neutral zone were excellent and we created chances but their goalie was in fine form.Â Overall it was a good game and a big test which we will have learned from.â€
Head Coach Peter Winn said:Â â€œIt was a good game and the difference between the teams was the amount of training and game time together of each team.Â The Finns played a solid team game, and we will learn from that experience.â€