Groundhog Day

WW18: Germany, Canada, USA, Sweden still perfect.

02.01.2011
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Husby Ishall Stockholm  Sweden

Theresa Wagner and Rebecca Graeve celebrate a first period goal during the 2011 IIHF World Women's U18 Championships. Photo: Francois Laplante / HHOF-IIHF Images

STOCKHOLM – It was like a pleasant version of the Groundhog day for the German and American teams and fans. Another day, another win. Germany beat Switzerland 4-2, U.S. downed Japan 7-1, Canada kept its record perfect with a 6-0 win over Finland, and Sweden got three points after another squeaker, now beating the Czechs 3-2. Germany - Switzerland, 4-2. One of the big European rivalries was worthy of its reputation, even if it looked to be a one-sided event, thanks to Germany’s strong first period in which they scored three goals in a span of just eight minutes, and practically put the game to sleep. The Swiss fought their way back into the game, but Germany won the game 4-2.

Jacqueline Janzen opened the scoring when she broke in from the top of the faceoff circles, and whipped a backhander high on Sandra Heim’s glove side. Karina Port beat Heim with a onetimer from a close range five minutes later, before Jansen got her second of the night with a hard shot from the top of the circles, this time beating Heim on the stick side.

However, the Swiss - who have taped a “Today is our day” slogan on the door to the bench - never gave up. They played a little tougher in the second period, which helped create turnovers in the German zone, but also got the Swiss themselves in a penalty trouble.

Switzerland got its chances in the third period. First Stephanie Kamber ended Germany’s Nadja Kruber’s shutout streak with a wrist shot from the slot, on a perfect feed from Jana Bigler.

“I didn’t think about that being the first goal I let in here, I thought we still controlled the game,” said Kruber.

Switzerland made it a one-goal game with 49 seconds remaining, when Lara Stadler ripped a slapshot from the blue line and beat Kruber high on the glove side.

Jensen completed her hat trick in the next shift, when sending the puck into an empty Swiss net, with two Swiss defencemen throwing their sticks.

“I didn’t think about rules, to be honest, I didn’t even know they had pulled the goalie,” said Jensen.

“The hat trick is not important, I’m very happy for the win,” she added.

Germany now has a perfect 2-0 record in the tournament. For the Swiss, the loss was a big disappointment.

“This was our most important game. We knew coming in that Canada would be tough, so we really wanted to beat the Germans. Now we have to beat Finland on Tuesday,” said team captain Sarah Forster. Japan - USA, 1-7

Japan pushed Sweden to the limit in their first game on Saturday, making the hosts work a full 60 minutes for the 2-1 win. On Sunday, the picked up where they left off in that game, and sent a strong signal to Team USA with their early 1-0 lead in the game.

Ayaka Toko beat Shenae Lundberg in the U.S. goal just 6:18 into the game, on power play.

“Playing against an honest and hardworking team like Japan, it is important that we bring our best," said McKenna. “Again, we did a very good job and worked hard on both sides of the puck. It was great to see that we're getting a lot of contribution from the entire lineup.”

The Americans were quick to get the game back on track and Emily Field tied the game just 57 seconds later. Another Emily, Pfaltzer, gave Team USA a 2-1 lead with 1:50 remaining in the period, and the Americans never let go of that. Sydney Daniels and Alex Carpenter extended the U.S. lead to three goals in the second period, after Japan had got into penalty trouble, drawing four minors in five minutes.

After Saturday’s game, head coach Jodi McKenna said she wanted her team to be a hard-working and disciplined one, and on Sunday, they showed that they are just that, scoring two goals within 16 seconds. First Shiann Darkangelo made it 5-1, and then Layla Marvin 6-1, on a Darkangelo assist.

Milica McMillen made it 7-1 with 3:42 remaining.

The U.S. outshot Japan 76-7 in the game.

Team USA marches on. (Photo: Phillip MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images) Finland - Canada, 0-6

Saturday’s loss to the Germans was a tough blow for the Finns, but taking on Canada just 24 hours later was just fine for them.  Finland tried to match Canada’s toughness with a gritty game of their own, but in the first period, it got them into penalty trouble.

Laura Stacey scored two, and added an assist, while goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens turned away ten shots en route to a shutout.

"We put up a fight, the team played hard through the entire game," said Team Finland head coach Juuso Toivola.

Team Canada opened scoring on equal strength, though, when Sarah Robson deflected Katy Josephs’s slaspshot past Finland’s Isabella Portnoj at 5:34.

Laura Stacey made it 2-0 on a rebound, while Canada was playing with a two-man advantage. All in all, Canada’s puck movement and skating was too much for the Finns, who ended up taking 11 minors, giving Canada over 17 minutes to work on their power play. Team Canada scored four of their six goals on powerplay.

Katarina Zgraja beat Portnoj with a slapshot from the blueline with 7:45 remaining in the second period. Two and a half minutes later, Stacey got her second of the night, grabbing a bouncy puck in front of the net and beating Portnoj with a quick wrist shot.

Canada’s fifth goal was another powerplay goal, and another slapshot from the blueline. This time by Gabrielle Davidson. Nicole Kosta finished the score with 1:32 remaining in the game, sending a onetimer to the back of the net, off a good feed by Meghan Dufault.

In the end, Canada scored two goals in each period, outshot Finland 59-10, and bagged a 6-0 win. Laura Stacey scored two and assisted one in Team Canada's 6-0 win. (Photo by Francois Laplante /HHOF-IIHF Images) Sweden - Czech Republic, 3-2

The host team holds on to its perfect record, but just barely. On Saturday, Sweden beat Japan 2-1, and on Sunday, it held on to a one-goal lead against the Czechs all the way to the end, winning 3-2.

Sweden outshot the Czech Republic 19-4 in the first period, aided by four minutes of power play, but could score only once. Linn Peterson’s goal at 7:04 tied the game as the Czechs had got off to a dream start. Katerina Solnickova beat Sofia Carlström in the first shift, and gave the Czech Republic a one-goal lead after just 36 seconds of play.

In the second period, Sweden took a hold of the game with Emma Martinsson’s 2-1 goal, but the Czech Republic never gave up, and Katerna Kaplanova evened the scored with just one second remaining in the period.

The Czechs outshot Sweden 10-7 in the last period, but it was Sweden that scored the only goal as Lina Backlin got the game winning goal at 7:26. The Czechs were handed a final chance with 1:52 remaining when Anna Kjellbin got an interference minor, but they couldn’t capitalize on their chances.


Sweden, too, has a perfect 2-0 record in the tournament. (Photo: Matthew Murnaghan / HHOF-IIHF Images)

RISTO PAKARINEN
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