The Blues beat the Hungarians (5-3) on Thursday in Riga before challenging Italy and Latvia to try to win a ticket for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.
First match and first victory for French hockey players. The Blues of ice hockey were scared but won their first meeting of the Olympic qualifying tournament (TQO) against Hungary, Thursday August 26 at the Riga Arena (5-3). Absent from the Winter Olympics for twenty years, the French hockey team, 15th in the world, took a first step towards the Beijing Games before facing Italy and Latvia at the end of the week.
The beginnings were sluggish for the players of Phillipe Bozon. The last-minute absence of Yohann Auvitu, one of the strongest elements of the French defense, who had suffered an injury package, was felt. Led 2-0 at the end of the first third, the Blues returned from the locker room showing a different face.
Much more aggressive, the French multiplied the throws and took advantage of numerous numerical superiorities until taking the lead at the end of the second time, thanks to the “NHLers” (players of the NHL, the North American hockey league) Alexandre Texier, author of a double, and Antoine Roussel.
TEXIER SUPERSTAR After being 2-0 down, France goes past Hungary to score! 2-3 @Hockey_FRA pic.twitter.com/gOP2lqP0Xz
If they made the break for a few moments in the quarter of an hour of play (4-2), the Blues however showed great excitement at the end of the meeting, after the reduction of the score by Hungary (4-3). Fortunately, Damien Fleury scored a fifth goal to blow away, four minutes from the end of the game.
With this victory, France is off to a good start in its Olympic qualifying tournament. But to find the Olympic Games, it will be necessary to show more consistency against Italy, Friday August 27, and against Latvia, Sunday August 29.
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