International Ice Hockey Federation

France finishes third

Defeat Austria 3-1 in final game

Published 12.02.2017 18:41 GMT+10 | Author James Armstrong
Gwendoline Gendarme scored a power play goal late in the third period as France beat Austria 3-1 to finish third in Olympic Qualification Group D.

Austria was guilty of taking too many penalties throughout the game and it took its toll in the third when Charlotte Wittich was sent off for an illegal hit with 9:10 left in regulation.

Gendarme then scored on a wrister from just inside the blue line to give France a 2-1 lead. Estelle Duvin added an empty netter in the final seconds to complete the scoring.

"We had a lot of power play opportunities during the game," France captain Marion Allemoz said. "We couldn't cash in but finally we did from one of our younger players and that gave us a huge boost."

France finished Group D with four points while Austria had none.

France got the scoresheet first when Allemoz scored with 3:33 left in the second on a rebound off a shot from Lea Parment.

But the lead didn't last long. Eva Maria Beiter Schwarzler scored a power play goal from a tight angle with just 15 seconds left in the second period.

"It was important for us to finish with a win," said France coach Gregory Tarle. "It will make the trip home a lot easier. We had two tough games against Japan and Germany and I feel we are getting closer to the elite level."

Austria had seven penalites in the match compared to three for France. France had a 5-on-3 advantage late in the first period but couldn't capitalize.

Eight teams will play in the women's tournament in Pyeongchang. The United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland have already qualified along with South Korea which earns a spot as the host nation.

Japan plays Germany in the second game with the winner qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.