3 notes from Austria’s 3-2 loss to Switzerland and more

Austria was always going to have an uphill battle at the FIFA World Junior Championships 2022. The team has appeared in the First Division four times, but has yet to win. The match against Switzerland was their best and last chance to follow in Latvia’s footsteps and make international history, as the Swiss also failed to win a championship this year. In the end, Austria did not have enough to beat the Swiss, who will face the winner of the Canada-Finland match.

With the Austrian championship over, there is still a lot to be proud of and look at positively as they turn their attention to the 2023 World Youth Championship in December. Here are three notes from his last game in this year’s championship.

Austria has finally found their guilt

One constant story that followed Austria throughout the tournament was how few shots they took per game. Before facing Switzerland, Austria only managed 46 shots at a rate of 15 per game, or about five per period. In fact, the Austrians managed fewer than five shots per span on three occasions. They managed to score two goals despite their lack of attack, but they weren’t able to get past their opponents’ defense long enough to generate any kind of constant pressure.

Against Switzerland, Austria finally turned the tide, sending 22 balls into the net while doubling their tally from two goals to four. Leon Wallner turned on Austria’s first shot of the match, picking up a rebound from Lukas Thaler that Noah Patenaud could not find in the penalty area. However, the Austrians managed only one more shot before the bell sounded, giving the impression that the team was expecting the same.

It was anything but the same. In the second half, Austria managed to equalize the shots of Switzerland, each of them hit the net 13 times, and managed to score another goal at the end of the period. Ian Shearzer, the top scorer, scored five shots per game alone, matching the team’s average shots during the period. It was a great performance from the whole team and although it didn’t result in a win, it showed that Austria is constantly improving with each performance.

17-year-old Austrians lead the way

As we mentioned several times on the TSN Show, many teams have made it to the top tier over the years with a strong pool of 19-year-olds and then had to freeze a less experienced team once they made it to the Junior Worlds. Each lifetime nucleus. When Austria won the 2020 Division 1A tournament, they were led by Benjamin Baumgartner, Paul Huber, David Mayer and Julian Baer, ​​who were not eligible to return to the 2021 World Youth Championship.

Read also: Latvia makes world junior history and qualifies for the quarter-finals

So when teams like Austria see 17-year-olds like Scherzer and David Reinbacher come forward and contribute to the ice, it means very good things for the future. Scherzer, who plays in Sweden with youth team Rögle BK, led the team in points with a goal and two passes, while Rheinbacher, a member of the Swiss Kloten organization, led the defense with two assists.

Like Sina Peters, Lukas Thaler and Leon Wallner in 2020, Reinbacher and Scherzer will be part of the next wave in Austria as the country looks to continue developing top talent. While its best players will still need to go elsewhere for further development, this says a lot about the country’s hockey programs and, like Germany and Switzerland before this, will help boost their local programs, which will not only create more skilled players.

Wraneschitz receives help in defense

Another common story of the Austrians was their weakness at the back, often collapsing on the goalkeeper and giving their opponents plenty of time to choose their shots. Sweden and Germany exploited these weaknesses relentlessly, and thanks to their stronger defenses, Austria could not stop the attack. This means that much of the team’s success is due to base goalkeeper Sebastian Ranchitz, and although he hasn’t been as exhausted as he was in last year’s tournament, he still faces several shots. In three matches, he faced 124 shots and made 111, getting 0.94 saves, less than the talented goalkeeper deserves.

Wraneschitz showed he couldn’t do much on his own, but as the match against Switzerland progressed, Austria began to play better defensively. They were able to effectively clear pucks and force the Swiss into corners more than once and limit them to just 39 shots, the lowest the Austrian goalkeeper has seen since 2020. If defender Lorenz Lindner does not deal with Jonas Teibel with less than five minutes left, which For which he received a serious penalty and a foul, Austria could have escaped the match with a victory.

What’s next for Austria?

Austria may be ready for 2022, but it will be ready for the 2023 World Junior Championships in Halifax, thanks to its elimination this year’s relegation series, which begins in just four months. Not only will Reinbacher and Scherzer return, but Marco Casper will likely be joined in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings, and they will likely be joined by selection Vincenz Rohrer in the second round, giving the Austrians a formidable seeding unit.

In addition, 15 other players are eligible to join the team, and if they all come back, they will have one of the most experienced rosters of any team in the tournament. With the prospect of relegation back on the table, Austria will have the best chance of winning their first match in U-20 World Cup history. Although this year has been disappointing, the future is bright for the young nation.

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