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Other Winter Sports - 15. January 2020.

FRIENDS FACE OFF IN 3-ON-3 ICE HOCKEY AS FINAL SPOTS ARE DECIDED

They are teammates at home, but on Tuesday Kimberly Collard and Roos Karst (NED) were rivals as the semifinals of ice hockey’s mixed nation 3-on-3 team events were decided at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

In usual circumstances, Collard and Karst, who train together with the Dutch under-18 women’s team, would either be celebrating or commiserating together after the game.

Instead, Collard and her Black team advanced to the gold medal final, while Karst and her Brown team will play for the bronze medal.

Brown vs Black in the 3-on-3 ice hockey semifinal | Joe Toth for OISphotos.com

This unusual outcome is a result of the novel competition format being used for the men’s and women’s 3-on-3 events at the Games.

Every team has 13 players, all from a different National Olympic Committee (NOC). Each team is identified by its uniform colour.

This meant that Collard and Karst found themselves on the ice facing off against each other at Vaudoise Arena.

The Brown team took a 5-2 lead early in the match but it was Collard’s Black team that finished the stronger, winning 11-7 to take its place in the final.

Roos Karst and Kimberly Collard (NED) | Travis Cranley for OIS

“Being on the ice together, it was kind of weird but funny too,” said Karst, aged 14. “[Brown] started playing really well but then we gave away some penalties and they got stronger.”

Collard said she and her teammates on Black really needed to pull together to win. “In the first period just nothing was going well,” the 15-year-old said. “Then we were all saying, ‘Hey, do we want to get gold or are we just here for fun?’ And we were all then saying how much we want to win, how we can do this, and we really fought together.”

In the men’s event, the final will match Green with Red after two entertaining semifinals.

Green defeated Black 7-3, with Red winning 9-7 against Brown. The lead changed several times before Red pulled ahead in the final period.

Green vs Black in the men's 3-on-3 ice hockey | Joe Toth for OISphotos.com

Among Red’s stars was 15-year-old Lin Wei-Yu (TPE).

“Our opponent was playing really organised,” he said. “They were passing the puck well and were really good at getting in front of the net and making shots for themselves.

“But we hung on and it feels good to make the final. We’ve been improving each game because we now know each other better.

“So tomorrow is very special for me. It is also good that my mum and dad are here. They came from Chinese Taipei to see me play.”

The men’s and women’s finals will be played on Wednesday.

OIS tc/kc/rm

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