In ten all-time meetings in Women's Worlds play, the Swedes have yet to win a game against Canada.
Emma Soderberg was sensational in the Swedish goal. Her only other game against Canada was this past February when she surrendered nine goals through two periods in an 11-0 loss. Today, she was the difference between a close game and a blowout.
Shots favoured Canada 57-9, but whereas Ann-Renee Desbiens had to do the bare minimum to earn the shutout, Soderberg was busy every step of the way. Canada had seven full power plays, however, 14 minutes in total, but couldn't score with the extra skater.
"We wanted to play fast, physical, stay together," said Sarah Pootmak, who scored a gorgeous goal in the second period. "We knew their goalie was pretty good, so we knew we had to get pucks to the net. They were doing a good job of clogging up the middle, so we treid to get in front of their goalie and take away their eyes."
Nevertheless, Canada got several tough pucks on goal, but Soderberg was there with strong positional play. Canada’s only goal came late in the period thanks to a nice pass from Renata Fast. The defender had moved in and got the puck behind the net, and found Jocelyne Larocque in the slot. Larocque locked and loaded before wristing a high shot at 17:11.
Shots favoured Canada, 14-1, and the lone puck that reached Ann-Renee Desbiens did so haltingly, a long clear in that arbitrarily reached the goalie.
Sweden continued to play an effective game inside their own blue line in the second, but Canada doubled its lead all the same thanks to a highlight-reel effort by Potomak. She gathered the puck in centre ice and blew by the Swedish defenders before making a Connor McDavid-like deke and sliding the puck in at 13:56.
"Shelton got the puck and I had the speed," Potomak described. "I noticed the defender was turning inside and Rattray made a really good stick lift, which opened a lane for me. I needed to cut hard. I saw the goalie explode off the post, so I cut back and put it in the net."
Canada incurred a couple of late penalties and Sweden had one terrific chance. Felicia Wikner-Zienkiewicz took a pass in the slot and fired a quick shot, but Desbiens was right there to make her best save of the night.
At the other end, Soderberg continued to excel. She faced a barrage of shots with the calm and poise of a veteran, keeping her team in the game. But her good fortunes ran out at 13:10 of the third when Erin Ambrose drifted a shot through traffic that the goalie didn't see, giving Canada a 3-0 lead.
Sweden will now play Japan in a qualification game on Friday. If they win that and one more, they will be placed in Group A next year. If not, they'll return to Group B.