Finland-United States 0-5 (0-0, 0-3, 0-2)
CHICAGO – The United States had a tough time scoring goals for a while against a determined Finnish team tonight in the late game at Walter Bush Arena, but they persevered 5-0 to maintain the top spot in Group A and set up a final clash with the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
Kendall Coyne, Alexandra Carpentier, and Meagan Mangene scored goals in the second period to break the game open after the first 25 minutes was a tense and scoreless affair. Two of the three came with the man advantage.
Alex Rigsby got the shutout for the U.S. by stopping all 13 shots she faced.
The Finns had their fair share of opportunities to press the Americans, notably early in the first and third periods when they had lengthy 5-on-3 situations but failed to pressure Rigsby in the face of excellent penalty killing from the three U.S. players in front of her.
Coyne got her second of the game midway through the third on another power play, and just 61 seconds later Melissa Bizzari put the game out of reach when she made it a 5-0 score.
Czech Republic-Japan 5-3 (4-2, 0-1, 1-0)
The Czech Republic hung on for a 5-3 win over Japan tonight at Bob Allen Arena in Group A action of the U18 World Women’s Championship. They got four of their goals in the first period from as many scorers before adding an empty netter in the final minute of the game.
Although the Czechs opened the scoring at 7:35 on a goal from Katerina Solnickova, the Japanese tied the game just 22 seconds later thanks to Runa Moritake and went ahead only seven seconds after that when Chiho Osawa scored.
Czech coach Tomas Vytisk decided to change goalies at this stage, pulling Veronika Hladikova in favour of Lenka Craigova. The strategy worked as the Czechs regained their footing and scored three goals before the end of the period to take a 4-2 lead. The backbreaker for the Japanese was two Czech goals just 13 seconds apart in the final minute.
Coach Yuji Iizuka did the same as Vytisk at period’s end, removing goalie Ai Tokoro, who also started yesterday against the United States and allowed seven goals, and inserting backup Shizuka Takahashi.
This move also worked as the Japanese scored the only goal of the second period when Mai Mori scored an unassisted goal at 7:33 to bring her team to within a goal. In the third, they had two excellent chances to tie the game, first on a late power play and then in the final minute with Takahashi on the bench for the extra attacker. The Czechs refused to break, however, and skated off with three points for the regulation-time victory after sealing the win with an empty-net marker from Denisa Krizova.
Both teams finish their round robin Preliminary Round on Tuesday. The Czechs face the United States at Walter Bush Arena while the Japanese meet Finland at the Bob Allen Arena.
Germany-Canada 0-15 (0-5, 0-4, 0-6)
Canada scored early and often at Walter Bush Arena this afternoon, handing Germany a thorough 10-0 loss in Group B action of the U18 WW. Captain Jessica Campbell led the way with two goals and four assists, and a eleven other scorers contributed to the one-sided result.
Carmen MacDonald stopped all 16 shots she faced to record the shutout for Canada while Stephanie Hruby faced 46 from Canada.
Kelly Terry had two goals and two assists while Jamie Lee Rattray had a goal and three assists. The win moves Canada into first place in Group B and sets up a decisive game against Sweden on Tuesday for top spot at the end of the round robin Preliminary Round. Four of Canada’s goals came on the power play but not until the seventh goal.
Germany will play Russia on Tuesday for third place in the group.
Sweden-Russia 4-1 (1-0, 2-0, 1-1)
Sweden got goals from four different scorers en route to a 4-1 win over Russia to move into top place in Group B of the Preliminary Round. The Russians fall to 0-2 and will be hard-pressed to qualify for the medal round of the 2010 U18 WW championship.
Melinda Olsson scored in the first period, and Lisa Hedengren and Emelie Johansson added goals in the second to lead the team to victory, their second in as many days.
Once again, though, the star was Anna Prugova, the 16-year-old Russian who played last month at the Olympics. She stopped 30 of 34 shots in a losing cause today.
The Russians were stalled by penalties at every turn, taking the first tow of the game and falling behind at 15:38 when Olsson scored with the man advantage. Hedengren’s goal was also a power-play marker, and Astrid Lilja made it 4-0 at 9:34 of the third on a third extra-man goal.
Olga Sosina scored the only goal for the Russians a few minutes later.
Sweden will play Canada on Tuesday in what will likely be a fight for top position in the group while Russia plays Germany in a likely battle for third spot.