U.S., Canada tuning up for playoffs

WW18: Skarupa gets second hat trick in 7-0 win over Sweden

01.01.2012
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PSG Arena Zlin  Czech Republic

Team USA is looking sharp following two dominant wins in their opening games. Photo: Phillip MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images

Sweden – USA 0 - 7 (0 - 3, 0 - 0, 0 - 4) Game Sheet Photos After a win against the host nation Czech Republic in their opening game, Sweden hoped to steal a huge win against the United States in their second game. It was not to be, however, as the defending champions shut out their opponent for the second game in a row, winning 7-0. It was the second game where Team USA scored at least seven goals, and the team’s forwards are already firing on all cylinders. American forward Hayley Skarupa notched her second consecutive hat trick with goals in the first and third periods to bring her tournament-leading total to six goals in two games. Team USA got on the board early in the game and didn’t let up. Alex Carpenter opened the scoring with a goal midway through the first period, and she was quickly followed up by Dana Trivigno’s power-play goal two minutes later. Sweden was not able to generate much offence, and did little to harass U.S. goaltender Brianna Laing. Laing eventually succumbed to the U.S. pressure as the Americans poured in four goals in the final period to put the game out of reach. At 2-0, the U.S. is in firm control of Group A, with one more game against the Czechs before the playoff round begins. Sweden will be going up against a desperate Russian squad that has yet to score in the tournament and will be hoping to avoid another return to the relegation round. Germany - Canada 0 - 6 (0 - 1, 0 - 1, 0 - 4) Game Sheet Photos The Germans were tough to crack, but Canada managed to stay undefeated in Group B with a 6-0 victory in their second game. The score could have been much higher if not for an exceptional goaltending effort from Germany’s Franziska Albl, who kept her team in contention throughout the first two periods while under heavy pressure. Despite Canada pouring in over 50 shots by the end of the second period, Albl only let a pair of goals slip by. The first came midway through the first period, when Canadian forward Taylor Woods took a pass from linemate Emily Clarke and converted for the 1-0 lead. Captain Erin Ambrose got the assist on an insurance goal in the second frame when Laura Stacey scored on the power play. Unfortunately for Albl, her teammates were not able to duplicate Canada’s shot production. By the start of the third period Canadian goaltender Elaine Chuli had only been challenged eight times by the German offence. Eventually the Canadian offensive pressure proved too much for Albl, who let in two more goals from Ambrose and Cydney Roesler. Catherine Dubois scored her fourth goal of the tournament to bring the score to 5-0 and keep her in the hunt for the scoring title with USA’s Hayley Skarupa (six goals). Tuesday will see Canada play against Finland, with the winner heading into the playoff round as one of the top seeds in the group. Germany has a do-or-die game against the Swiss, with a trip to the relegation round if they lose.

Czech Republic – Russia 1 - 0 (0 - 0, 0 - 0, 1 - 0)  Game Sheet Photos In an uncharacteristically low-scoring game for both teams, the Czech Republic won 2-0 on a pair of third period goals, while Russia is staring at a possible date in the relegation round after being shut out for the second consecutive game. Things got off slowly for the Czech offence. After they managed to kill off three consecutive penalties in the first period, the home team found their legs in the second period but were unable to convert on a pair of powerplay opportunities. Tereza Vanisova final broke the deadlock at outset of the third period, with Aneta Ledlova on the assist.

Her linemate Klara Chmelova added an insurance marker soon after, when she converted a short handed goal following a game misconduct against Klara Mazankova for kneeing an opposing player. As in their game against the US yesterday, goaltender Margarita Monakhova got little help from her forwards, as the Russians were unable to capitalize on a number of early scoring chances. Team Russia’s opportunities dwindled as the game went on and the Czech offence grew bolder. The Czechs put intense pressure on the Russian netminder with 23 shots on net in the second period, culminating in Vanisova’s game winner early in the third. Depending on the result of Sweden’s game against the United States, Russia could be destined for the relegation round. Should Sweden lose, the winner of Tuesday's Russia-Sweden game will advance to the playoffs. The Czechs will face the United States in their final Group A game, but are assured to advance to the playoff round based on today’s victory.

Finland – Switzerland 3 - 5 (2 - 1, 1 - 4, 0 - 0) Game Sheet Photos

Going into their game against 2011 bronze medal winners Finland, the Swiss ladies needed a win to keep alive their playoff chances. They not only got their victory, but got it through a spirited performance, coming back twice from early one-goal deficits to win 5-3. Switzerland showed tenacity throughout the game, keeping up with the Finnish skaters and coming up with an answering goal each time they fell behind. Shortly after Isabel Waidacher knotted the game up at 2-2 in the second period, Phoebe Stanz got out of the penalty box and drove a shot home to put her team up by a score at 15:48. After Finland’s Venla Kotkaslahti scored the equalizing goal two minutes later, her teammate Emma Retari was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Stanz struck again on the ensuing powerplay, burying her second goal of the game. Selina Wuttke added another before the end of the period and the Finns found themselves down 5-3. With the win, Switzerland is set to play Germany next, a game that could determine who advances out of Group B and who plays in the relegation round. Finland has a date with the Canadians in the final Group B game for each team. ADAM STEISS
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