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England’s women advanced to the Ice Hockey final at the Commonwealth Games with a thrilling semi-final shootout victory over defending champions New Zealand.
Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was once again England’s shootout heroine, saving all four of New Zealand’s tries.
Isabelle Petter and Hannah Martin both scored in the hosts’ 2-0 win after the game ended 0-0.
England will face Australia or India if they seek a first Commonwealth title.
Australia and India play their semi-finals later on Friday, with the final taking place on Sunday at 15:00 CET.
“Opportunities like this inspire goalkeepers and hopefully young goalkeepers too,” said Hinch.
“Doing it on a platform like this with this home crowd really gives you that extra confidence.”
The 33-year-old has already won Olympic and European gold but said of the chance to lift a Commonwealth title: “I’m definitely at the end of my career now and that’s something I’ve desperately wanted and was in my career a few times that close.”
Hinch the hero again
It was a frantic opening worthy of a semi-final, with plenty of chances at both ends and Hinch’s astute goalkeeper keeping England a clean sheet.
Things slowed for both teams in a stop-start second quarter before England’s Sophie Hamilton spiced things up with a quick ball over the goal.
But none of England’s players converted and it remained 0-0 at half-time.
New Zealand looked more dominant early in the second half and the excitement rose from end to end for the last 10 minutes.
Neither side found a way through, meaning each had five chances to score from the 23m line in a penalty shootout.
With the audience already speaking in full voice, Hinch portrayed the athletic and aggressive goalkeeper who helped her win Olympic gold with Great Britain in 2016.
England’s Petter finally broke the deadlock and Martin’s gunnery slowly rolled over the line before the hosts ran on to celebrate, jumping up and down in a merry scrum.
Earlier on Friday, the Welsh women finished eighth after losing 1-0 to South Africa in the seventh-place play-off.