Sweden tops Finns 6-1
by Risto Pakarinen|11 JAN 2023
Swedes celebrating a goal. A sight the home crowd got to see many times today. 
photo: Chris Tanouye / IIHF

Sweden continued their strong play in the tournament, and this time, they even got the result they wanted. A convincing 6-1 win over Finland . 

It was a strong showing by the hosts, and a true team ewffort. Twelve different Swedish players collected points. Hilda Svensson scored twice for Sweden, and Felicia Frank made fifteen saves.

"It went exactly the way we wanted, it was a good 60-minute effort from the team. We learned from our games against the US and Canada and we proved it in this game," said Astrid Lindeberg who picked up two assists. 

"It wasn't a good game by us," said Finland coach Mira Kuisma. "It's hard to pinpoint what we need to change. I think the issue mostly between the ears now."

Finland vs Sweden - 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship
FIN SWE 11 JAN 2023
After a nervous start, the Swedes took over the game. Except for a penalty five minutes into the period – which they killed off – the girls in yellow had things under control. When Ella Hellman fired a tight angle one-timer through Kerttu Kuja-Halkola’s five-hole at 13.17, after a nice set up by Emma Rehn and Emilia Bergeby Hallbeck, the grip the Swedes had on the game tightened. 

Sweden outshot Finland 13-8 in the period but Kuja-Halkola managed to keep them off the scoresheet for the rest of the period. 

But creating scoring chances isn’t the same as scoring goals and Finns got theirs. 

Nella Berg’s long pass split the Swedish defence and sent Sanni Vanhanen on a breakaway. She made a quick deke and beat Frank with a wrister to tie the game at 6.32. It was Finland’s second goal in the tournament. 

"Well, we're trending upward, but … we were still a step behind," Vanhanen said after the game. "I'm very disapppointed."

The Swedish reply came quickly. A minute and half later, Astrid Lindeberg sent Tilde Utbult and Stina Andersson on a 2-on-1. Utbult flipped a saucer pass over the Finnish defender’s stick, and Andersson dangled the puck between Kuja-Halkola’s legs to put Sweden in the front again. 

Five minutes later, Hilda Svensson simply skated around the Finnish defence with surprisingly little trouble and beat Kuja-Halkola toi give the Swedes a two-goal cushion. 

With 39 seconds remaining the period, Maja Alenius grabbed a lose puck at the hashmarks, and found Mira Jungaker on the blue line. She stepped in, and fired a laser that beat Kuja-Halkola – who was screened by a teammatehigh – on the blocker side, for 4-1.

Svensson scored her second of the night on powerplay 59 seconds into the third period, after a ice setup by Mira Markstrom and Lindeberg. 

Markstrom and Svensson connected again in their next shift. Svensson played the puck to Markstrom who fired a wrister from the blueline, and Sara Lindqvist re-directed it into the Finnish net for 6-1. 

"It was a good gane. We knew Canada and the US were a little stronger teams but we had a lot of respect for Finland and did what we needed to do. We got a ot of time in the offensive time and were creative there," said Mira Jungaker. 

"Now we'll recharge our batteries for the quarterfinal. It's an important game, we really want to get through to the semifinal and win a medal," she added. 
Finland vs Sweden - 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship