Mission accomplished: Italy moves on, defeats Great Britain

Mission accomplished: Italy moves on, defeats Great Britain

16 Feb 2016Lucas Bradelj»
 

On Sunday the final day of the Olympic Pre-Qualification tournament took place in Cortina, which saw the hosts Italy keep their Olympic dreams alive knocking out Great Britain.

 
 
 
 

After the Netherlands earned the 3rd place in the group with a 7-3 win over Serbia in the afternoon game, in Cortina everything was set for the all-decisive game. The winner would take it all in the final match-up between Italy and Great Britain.

The British team tried to play its physical game against the favourited Italian squad, but it did not pay off in the first period. They got themselves into penalty trouble and the ‘azzurri’ made them pay. Power play goals by Christian Borgatello and captain Anton Bernard indicated Italy’s perfect start. Simon Kostner added the third goal of the initial frame with a beautiful snap shot past Ben Bowns to give the hosts the 3-0 lead.

The Italians continued to dominate the second period, outshooting Great Britain 11-3 in the frame. Christian Borgatello’s slap shot found the back of the net again in the 36th minute, before Ashley Tait tipped in the guests' first marker on the man advantage.

The British tried to fight their way back into the contest in the final 20 minutes of play and also found the 4-2 goal thanks to David Clarke. Helped out by a strong performance by Liiga-goalkeeper Andreas Bernard, the Italians would however decide the game in the 48th minute, as Alex Gellert made it 5-2. Joachim Ramoser added the empty netter and Italy could celebrate a 6-2 win.

The qualification to the next round is a respectable achievement for the rejuvenated Italian team, who under Stefan Mair’s guidance played with a ‘home-made’ roster with only four dual-citizens on the team.

With this result, Team Italy moves on the Final round of the Olympic Qualifications. Between the first and fourth of September the 'Blue Team' will be in Norway to challenge the hosts, France and Kazakhstan. The winner of this group will participate in the Olympics 2018 in South Korea.

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