U.S. squeaks by to finish first
by Andrew Podnieks|09 JAN 2019
Sweden played an impressive game against the United States this evening to finish the preliminary round.
photo: Steve Kingsman / HHOF-IIHF Images
Lacey Eden scored the opening goal at 12:37 of the second period to pace the United States to a surprisingly close 2-0 win over Sweden.
The win gives the Americans first place in the group and two days off. They’ll next play on Saturday in the semi-finals against the winner of the game between Sweden and the winner of Group B. That game will be played tomorrow afternoon.

Skylar Vetter stopped 17 shot for the shutout while the Americans peppered 40 shots on Amanda Johansson.

In truth, the game meant nothing to the standings, as the nations' positions would have been the same no matter what the score, but the game was still an important one as the teams hoped to improve for the coming playoffs.

"I think it was a bit harder to get going, but once we got going we had the mentality that we want to play strong and win," Eden said. "We really picked it up in the third period, and we'll be ready for the semi-finals."
Lacey’s goal came on an extended delayed penalty. She redirected a shot from in front and beat Amanda Johansson before any Swede could control the puck and get a whistle.

"In a situation like that you just want to keep possession," Eden said. "We got a nice shot on the play, and I managed to get a stick on it. It bounced in the net, which is what we like to see."
Sweden had a great chance to get the first goal earlier in the period. They had a five-on-three for 81 seconds and had a couple of great chances. Thea Johansson hit the post on one, and on another Lina Ljungholm’s terrific one-timer was expertly saved by Vetter.

"That was a big kill," Eden noted. "It's been great for us all tournament. That was a major turning point in the game tonight. We didn't allow many shots on it and played stronger after that."

The Americans doubled their lead early in the third on a power play. Johansson made the original save on a long shot, but the puck squeezed under her arm and Katy Knoll knocked it in just inches from the goal line at 1:48.