Swedes head back to the finals
by Adam Steiss|20 JAN 2020
Sweden 's women's team has won gold in both previous Youth Olympic Games. 
photo: Vedran Galijas / justpictures.ch

Sweden is rounding into form at the right time of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games women’s tournament, dominating Switzerland 2-0 in the semi-final to earn a chance at a third straight Youth Olympic gold.

Defenceman Anna Andersson scored both her team's goals and goalie Ebba Svensson Traff earned the shutout as Sweden held the Swiss to just ten shots on goal. 

"(Anna) was great today and it's really good to have her on defence," said team captain Nicole Hall. "We are really excited to play now for the gold medal." 

Sweden came in as the favourites after going undefeated in Group A, while the Swiss narrowly avoided a loss to the Czechs on opening day before falling to Japan 4-1.

As has been the case for all of Switzerland’s games, the team has been supported by a home crowd of thousands of fans filling Vaudoise Arena in Lausanne with the sounds of cowbells.

Nevertheless the undaunted Swedes opened up with a lot of pressure, testing goalie Margaux Favre early and often with a few scoring chances coming off scrambles in front of the Swiss net.

"We played well against them in the beginning but the penalties hurt us. Otherwise we had a good match, played aggressive. Maybe they played more aggressive than us. They play more physical and are tall. That helped them," Swiss forward Jade Surdez said.

In the second period, Tre kronor looked like they had the lead when on a rush Linnea Adelbertsson fed Ela Jamsen wide open in front, only for her shot to clang off the post.

But then on a power pay it was a shot from the point from Beatrice Hjalm which was deflected in front of the net by Hall and dropped in front of Anderssson for the score to put Sweden up 1-0.

"I think we got a little nervous after we scored, but it went good," said Swedish defenceman Ida Karlsson. "It's unbelievable, I never played in such a loud arena with so many people."

The goal gave the Swedes confidence as the team started to rack up the scoring chances on Favre and keeping the Swiss players hemmed in their defensive zone.

Switzerland’s best chance to equalize came early in the third period when Sweden was forced to kill back-to-back penalties, but the Swiss couldn’t generate enough pressure to seriously threaten the Swedish net. ­­

Then with an extra attacker on the ice as the Swiss were being called for a penalty, Klara Kenttalla fired a shot from near the top of the blue line that was defelected in front by Andersson past a screened Favre for the 2-0 lead, which the Swedes held on to for the rest of the game. 

"It's good to keep up this streak for Sweden, I knew in the back of my head that we were going to win," said Hall. "Now for (tomorrow) we need to get the pucks to the goal and keep making our chances."

The Swedes now will await the winner of the Japan-Slovakia semi-final, while Switzerland will play in the bronze medal game tomorrow.

Sweden vs. Switzerland (SF) - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Women)