Swedes sweep Tjörn tourney

Also Slovak and Swiss women win events on home ice

22.02.2011
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Canada Hockey Place Vancouver British Columbia Canada

Swedish goalkeeper Sara Grahn had 25 saves in the 4-0 win against Finland. Photo: Jeff Vinnick / HHOF-IIHF Images

TJÖRN, Sweden – The Swedish women’s national team won a four nations tournament on home ice on Tjörn, defeating Russia, Finland and Germany.

The Swedes only struggled in the first game where they edged Russia 2-1. Lina Wester and Frida Nevelainen scored two early goals, while Tatyana Burina cut the lead with her power-play goal halfway through the game. The score remained until the final buzzer.

The “Damkronor” faced less challenge in their other games. The Swedes shut out Germany and Finland with two 4-0 wins, although the game against Finland was tougher than the score indicates. Sara Grahn earned the shutout with 25 saves while Erika Grahm scored two goals.

For the Swedes it was a sweet revenge leading up to the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship that takes place in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland, April 16-25.

Finland overtook Sweden as the best European women’s national team in 2008, and the Finns have won the bronze medals ahead of Sweden in the 2008 and 2009 World Women’s Championships as well as at the 2010 Olympics.

“It’s wonderful to win the tournament on home soil,” Sweden’s head coach Niclas Högberg said. “We played exactly the way we want to play with lots of shots and pressure.”

In the tournament on Tjörn (an island north of Gothenburg), Finland finished in second place. Before playing Sweden for first place on Sunday, the Finns defeated Germany 4-0 and Russia 5-0.

Germany defeated Russia 5-1 to reach third place. The win of the Division I nation against the Russians looks like a surprise, but it must be noted that the Russians missed the players from its reigning champion SKIF Nizhni Novgorod who prepare for this upcoming weekend’s European Women’s Champions Cup in Lugano, Switzerland.

Slovaks and Swiss succeed against Division I challenger

Slovakia, which will participate in the World Women’s Championship Top Division for the first time ever this year, won its four nations tournament in Prievidza.

The Slovaks hammered neighbours Austria 8-1 in the opening game, but they had more trouble with France. Slovakia came back from a 2-0 deficit in the last period before Nicol Cupkova scored the overtime winner for the home side.

In the game for first place, the Slovaks also had a bad start when the Czech Republic scored on a wraparound, but they eventually got past the Czechs, both in the game they won 3-1 and in the final standings.

“It was the best game of the tournament, although we conceded a goal,” Slovak head coach Miroslav Karafiat said. “In the last period we finally broke the Czechs’ resistance and we deserved the win. But in the games against Austria and France we didn’t play according to our game plan.”

The Czech women finished in second place ahead of France and Austria.

One week earlier the Swiss staged the Mountain Cup. Same as the Slovaks, the Swiss exercised their duties against the lower ranked Division I nations (Norway, Austria) while also defeating the Chicago Mission’s women’s team.

MARTIN MERK

<table> <tbody><tr><td colspan="6">Euro Hockey Tour in Sweden
</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td width="46">Feb. 18</td><td>Tjörn</td><td width="66">Finland</td><td width="9"> - </td><td width="66">Germany</td><td>4-0</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 18</td><td>Tjörn</td><td>Sweden</td><td> - </td><td>Russia</td><td>2-1</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 19</td><td>Tjörn</td><td>Russia</td><td> - </td><td>Finland</td><td>0-5</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 19</td><td>Tjörn</td><td>Sweden</td><td> - </td><td>Germany</td><td>4-0</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 20</td><td>Tjörn</td><td>Germany</td><td> - </td><td>Russia</td><td>5-1</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 20</td><td>Tjörn</td><td>Sweden</td><td> - </td><td>Finland</td><td>4-0</td></tr> <tr><td></td><td></td><td></td><td></td><td></td><td></td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6">Standings: 1. Sweden 9, 2. Finland 6, 3. Germany 3, 4. Russia 0.</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6"> </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6">Tournament in Slovakia</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 17</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>France</td><td> - </td><td>Czech Rep.</td><td>0-3</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 17</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>Slovakia</td><td> - </td><td>Austria</td><td>8-1</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 18</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>Czech Rep.</td><td> - </td><td>Austria</td><td>8-1</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 18</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>Slovakia</td><td> - </td><td>France</td><td>3-2</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 19</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>Austria</td><td> - </td><td>France</td><td>2-5</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 19</td><td>Prievidza</td><td>Slovakia</td><td> - </td><td>Czech Rep.</td><td>3-1</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6"> </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6">Standings: 1. Slovakia 8, 2. Czech Rep. 6, 3. France 4, 4. Austria 0.</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6"> </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6">Mountain Cup in Switzerland</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 10</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Switzerland</td><td> - </td><td>Chicago M.</td><td>3-2</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 11</td><td>Romanshorn </td><td>Chicago M.</td><td> - </td><td>Norway</td><td>1-5</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 11</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Switzerland</td><td> - </td><td>Austria</td><td>6-2</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 12</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Austria</td><td> - </td><td>Chicago M.</td><td>1-2</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 12</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Norway</td><td> - </td><td>Switzerland</td><td>2-4</td></tr> <tr><td>Feb. 13</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Norway</td><td> - </td><td>Austria</td><td>7-1</td></tr> <tr class="even"><td>Feb. 13</td><td>Romanshorn</td><td>Switzerland</td><td> - </td><td>Chicago M.</td><td>3-2</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6"> </td></tr> <tr><td colspan="6">Standings: 1. Switzerland 8, 2. Norway 6, 3. Chicago M. 3, 4. Austria 1.</td></tr> </tbody></table>


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