Kazakhstan goalie fumes after loss

KIRK PENTON

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Sometimes a language barrier makes it difficult to understand exactly how someone is feeling.

There was no confusion about Kazakhstan netminder Kate Rhyzhova yesterday afternoon after her team was spanked 7-0 by Russia and relegated to the second tier of international women's hockey, also known as Division 1.

Kazakhstan failed to score a goal in four games during the tournament and won't be eligible to compete in next year's WWHC in China.

Rhyzhova, who made several spectacular saves among her 43 yesterday, couldn't hide her frustration yesterday when asked what her country has to do to get back to the top level of women's hockey.

"That's not my problem," she snapped. "It's a problem for the coach. Maybe he has to do something, maybe the girls have to do something. I really don't know.

"... It's sad, it's bad, but it's sport. Somebody wins, somebody loses. That's all I can say."

Rhyzhova wasn't angry only at the world. She was upset with herself, too, for not stopping all 50 shots she faced.

"I have to save all the game, but I didn't," the 17-year-old said.

Kazakhstan had hope for a while, as it entered the second period tied 0-0 despite being outshot 18-4. The Russians fired another 18 shots at Rhyzhova in the second period, but this time they delivered, scoring six times to salt the game away.

Ekaterina Smolentseva led the way for Russia with three goals and an assist, while Iya Gavrilova chipped in with two goals and an assist.

Svetlana Terentieva and Olga Semenets had the other goals for Russia, which got 14 saves from Irina Gachennikova and Maria Onolbaeva.

"Last championship we lost to Kazakhstan, and now we just killed them, so we feel good," Gavrilova said through a translator.

She added that she and her teammates were "very happy" that they won't be relegated to Division 1, unlike their neighbours.

Kazakhstan, which was outscored 26-0 in the tournament, now has an all-time record of 1-11-1 at the world championship to go along with an 0-5 mark in the Olympics.

Russia and Germany will meet at MTS Centre today at noon in the final relegation-round game. The winner will finish seventh and the loser eighth.


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