United States will play for 4 Nations Cup gold after blanking Sweden 4-0 inside the Mile One Centre on Friday afternoon. The Americans finish preliminary action off undefeated.
A pattern that favoured the United States seemed to develop early in the game, with Hilary Knight breaking the goose egg for the red, white and blue at 3:20 in the first. Team USA would go on to score an early goal in periods two and three.
The first period was action-packed on the ice, as penalties were handed back and forth and goaltenders from either side of the rink kept fans entertained by making several excellent saves, even while shorthanded. With the United States up 1-0 going into the second, frustration seemed to grow for the Swedish players as they struggled to find the back of the American net and ended up giving the opposition the advantage by being sent to the box four times over the course of the period.
Forward Kacey Bellamy was able to capitalize on the first power play of the period, nothing a marker at 2:24 to give the United States a comfortable 2-0 lead going into the third. Monique Lamoureux’s early period goal came just 30 seconds into the third, with help from Kendall Coyne, to put Team USA up 3-0.
As the last period ticked down, both teams continued to fight hard for bragging rights. A final chance to get on the scoreboard presented itself to Sweden when American player Meagan Mangene was sent to the box for tripping. But two minutes with the man-advantage didn’t help Sweden in the end, leaving the Europeans scoreless.
Erica Lawler had the icing on the cake with less than a minute left in the game, when she handily slid the puck into Sweden’s net to finalize the score at 4-0 and put the United States at the top of the 4 Nations Cup standings.
Swedish netminder Sara Grahn made an impressive 38 saves, but just couldn’t stop all of the American bullets fired in her direction. Player of the game awards went to USA’s Bellamy and Sweden’s Emma Eliasson.
The United States will play their final game of 4 Nations on Saturday, November 3, and their competition for gold will be determined after Friday’s game between Canada and Finland.
IHLC: With the win, Team USA retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it won from Canada in the opening game of the Cup, and retained against Finland in a 4-0 preliminary matchup. The U.S., in their 21st IHLC reign, last faced Sweden over the title at the 2008 Four Nations Cup, where the U.S. won 5-2 before losing the title to Canada, who in turn would lose to Sweden to clinch them their first ever IHLC title. The U.S. now advances to their ninth straight Four Nations Cup Gold Medal Game against Canada, with the chance for their fourth ever Gold, and to leave Newfoundland with the IHLC, on the line.
03:20 – GOAL – Knight (Decker, Duggan)
03:56 – PEN – Rundqvist, hooking
10:50 – PEN – Engstrom, hooking
15:26 – PEN – Holst, holding
21:32 – PEN – Eliasson, body checking
22:24 – PP GOAL – Bellamy (Schmidgall, Duggan)
24:27 – PEN – Backman, roughing
28:04 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, tripping
31:01 – PEN – Malmström, body checking
33:30 – PEN – Malmström, tripping
40:29 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (Coyne)
56:41 – PEN – Mangene, tripping
59:06 – EN GOAL – Lawler
W: Vetter (20-20)
L: Grahn (38-42)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+15+16 = 42
6+4+10 = 20
Goaltenders: Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Meagan Mangene, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Sarah Erickson, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Erika Lawler, Jenny Schmidgall, Haley Skarupa, Allie Thunstrom, Jinelle Zaugg.
Goaltenders: Sara Grahn, Kim Martin, Valentina Lizana. Defence: Emma Agén, Emilia Andersson, Linnea Backman, Johanna Fällman, Johanna Malmström, Frida Nevalainen, Emma Nordin, Annie Svedin. Forwards: Lisa Edman, Emma Eliasson, Tina Enström, Erika Grahm, Elin Holmlöv, Erika Holst, Klara Myrén, Danijela Rundqvist, Therése Sjölander, Rebecca Stenberg, Erica Udén Johansson, Lina Wester, Pernilla Winberg, Cecilia Östberg.