Team USA set a scary tone for their opponents at this year’s Four Nations Cup in Finland, thrashing Sweden 6-0 to open the tournament and improve their current International Hockey Lineal Championship win streak to 15 consecutive games.
As was expected, the Americans came out firing early and often, and with newcomer Lovisa Berndtsson between the pipes for the Damkronorna (rather than usual target Sara Grahn), Team USA was prime to strike. It was Megan Bozek that opened the scoring at 7:23, wiring a point shot through traffic for the opening tally. Hannah Brandt would strike just under four minutes later on the power play, hacking at a Haley Skarupa rebound at Berndtsson’s side, eventually deflecting in the puck for the 2-0 lead. Captain Meghan Duggan would up the score to 3-0 just before the end of the first period, receiving a beautiful one-time feed from Monique Lamoureux, snapping the pass into the wide-open cage to head to intermission with three goals on just eight shots.
The second and third periods saw more of the same, with Hilary Knight continuing her blazing international goal streak with a beautiful backhand dangle in alone on Berndtsson. Monique Lamoureux would get a goal of her own just under nine minutes later, knocking in her own rebound while left wide open alone in front to go ahead 5-0. And despite “easing up” on Sweden in the third, the Swedes could not capitalize on a lack of American firepower, with the 6-0 goal behing potted by Brandt off a bad angle shot streaking in on Berndtsson for the final tally, giving Team USA the win and Alex Rigsby the easy 8-save shutout.
With the win, Team USA wins their 15th straight in this current International Hockey Lineal Championship reign, their 28th, which dates back to the opening of the 2015 World Championships. This meeting marks the 15th IHLC meeting between the U.S. and Sweden, and the first since opening last year’s Four Nations Cup with a 6-2 win; the Americans’ record now improves to 14-1 all-time. Team USA will face Finland tomorrow, hoping to avoid an upset from the host nation and retain the IHLC in time for their showdown with Canada on November 4.
07:23 – GOAL – Bozek (Skarupa, Schleper)
10:10 – PEN – Carlsson, hooking
11:10 – PP GOAL – Brandt (Skarupa)
19:57 – GOAL – Duggan (M. Lamoureux, Keller)
20:49 – PEN – Fällman, hooking
28:32 – GOAL – Knight (Coyne)
37:29 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (Knight, Decker)
38:28 – PEN – Svedin, hooking
43:16 – PEN – Skarupa, tripping
47:47 – PEN – Alasalmi, body checking
52:36 – GOAL – Brandt (Skarupa, Carpenter)
W: Rigsby (8-8)
L: Berndtsson (27-33)
SHOTS ON GOAL
8+13+12 = 33
3+3+2 = 8
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby. Defence: Megan Bozek, Megan Keller, Monique Lamoureux (A), Emily Pfalzer, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Stephanie Anderson, Hannah Brandt, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski, Haley Skarupa, Kelli Stack, Dana Trivigno.
Goaltenders: Lovisa Berndtsson, Sara Grahn. Defence: Jessica Adolfsson, Emmy Alasalmi, Linnéa Bäckman, Ebba Berglund, Johanna Fällman, Johanna Olofsson, Emilia Ramboldt (C), Annie Svedin. Forwards: Anna Borgqvist (A), Olivia Carlsson, Erika Grahm, Sara Hjalmarsson, Lisa Johansson, Maria Lindh, Michelle Löwenhielm, Hanna Olsson, Fanny Rask, Rebecca Stenberg, Erica Udén Johansson (A), Julia Östlund.