Canada easily dispatched its opponent in their only pre-World Championships tuneup game, beating Sweden 8-0 in the resort town of Jay Peak, Vermont, to retain their newly-won International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Canada and Sweden played a fairly even match through the first twenty minutes, with Swedish keeper Kim Martin only conceding a single goal to Gillian Apps, despite being outshot 17-5 in the opening frame. Both teams changed their goalies at 9:21 of the second period, with Sara Grahn taking over for Martin, while Shannon Szabados replaced Charline Labonté in Canada’s goal. This is where the game started to turn, as Grahn conceded two quick goals to Meghan Agosta and Rebecca Johnston just minutes later.
The onslaught continued in the third, with Canada scoring five times on 19 third period shots, including a 3-goal onslaught in a span of 3:01, on goals from Jayna Hefford, Vicki Bendus and Natalie Spooner. Haley Irwin would add a power play marker on a Frida Nevalainen charging call, and Agosta would add her second of the game with just 39 seconds left in regulation. Szabados stopped all 8 of her shots to split the shutout with Labonté, while Grahn gave up 25 of 32, a stark contrast to Martin’s 29 of 30 saves.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it won from the United States in an exhibition game on March 31, a defensive 1-0 victory. Team Canada, in their record 26th reign with the IHLC, last faced Sweden over the title at November’s Four Nations Cup in Sweden, where Canada defeated the hosts 3-1 in group play to retain the IHLC. Canada next faces the United States in the opening game of the 2012 World Championships in nearby Burlington with the IHLC on the line.
03:26 – GOAL – Apps (Bram)
04:55 – PEN – Larocque, holding
11:01 – PEN – Jenner, charging
16:49 – PEN – Holst, tripping
32:23 – GOAL – Agosta (Wakefield, Irwin)
35:22 – GOAL – Johnston (Hefford, Poulin)
45:21 – GOAL – Hefford (Poulin, Johnston)
47:28 – GOAL – Bendus (Apps)
48:22 – GOAL – Spooner (Wickenheiser)
49:54 – PEN – Jenner, tripping
58:39 – PEN – Nevalainen, charging
58:57 – PP GOAL – Irwin (Johnston)
59:21 – GOAL – Agosta
W: Labonté (9-9), Szabados (8-8)
L: Martin (29-30), Grahn (25-32)
SHOTS ON GOAL
17+26+19 = 62
5+7+5 = 17
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Laura Fortino, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau, Catherine Ward. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Jayna Hefford (A), Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette (A), Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser (C).
Goaltenders: Sara Grahn, Kim Martin. Defence: Emilia Andersson, Linnea Backman, Johanna Fallman, Linnea Hedin, Frida Nevalainen (A), Johanna Olofsson, Annie Svedin. Forwards: Jenni Asserholt, Gizela Blom, Tina Enstrom, Erika Grahm, Elin Holmlöv (A), Erika Holst (C), Michelle Löwenhielm, Klara Myrén, Danijela Rundqvist, Rebecca Stenberg, Erica Udén Johansson, Lina Webster, Pernilla Winberg.