Cheered on by a loud home crowd, Team Sweden advanced to the U18 Women's Worlds final. Astrid Lindeberg scored the game-winner in the middle frame. Mira Jungaker also scored for Sweden while Lucia DiGirolamo got the Us lone goal.
Felicia Frank made 37 saves in Sweden's goal.
"It's fantastic," said Lindeberg. "We had talked about how important it is to score on powerplay and it was ncie it worked."
"I was confident after we got the lead that we'd be able to win the game," she added.
Before the game, Team USA was 14-0 in U18 Women’s Worlds semifinals.
And now, they’re 14-1 as Sweden took a hard-fought win, 2-1, in the U18 Women’s Worlds semifinal. Sweden scored both goals on the power play.
This Team USA hasn’t been as dominating in the tournament as one might expect, looking at it historically, or the Women’s Worlds. In their preliminary game against Team Canada, they only managed 11 shots on goal, by far the lowest US total at a U18 Women’s Worlds. The previous low was 20 in a game against Canada in 2015.
But all streaks get broken, and history doesn’t matter when the puck drops.
Sweden, a team that has showed its strength in the tournament earlier now also had a sold-out arena behind them. And had there been any jitters, their returning players stepped up when they were needed the most.
"I was focused and ready to play today and even though we may have been slightly nervous right at the beginning, we played a great game, and started strong," said Jungaker.
The US killed the penalty and with less than three minutes remaining, Finley McCarthy won a puck battle along the boards behind Sweden’s net and found Lucia DiGirolamo in front of the net. She spun around and tucked the puck in, through Felicia Frank’s five-hole at 2.44.
Team USA carried the one-goal lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, Team USA got into serious penalty trouble. Less than three minutes into the period, the Americans received a rare double minor two different infractions. Peyton Compton cross-checked a Swedish player in front of the US bench and when a Swedish player went after the puck in their corner, Ava Lindsey was called for tripping.
It too Sweden 1.22 to cycle the puck to Jungaker on the point. She stepped in and fired a wrister that bear Annelies Bergmann high on the glove side.
"I tried to make sure that I'd get my shots through the first US player so that they wouldn't get blocked, and I think that worked today," Jungaker said.
Joy Dunne took a minor penalty for illegal hit, and this time it was Sweden’s second power-play unit that capitalized on it, once again, a shot from the point beat Bergmann, this time down low. It was Astrid Lindeberg – who led the team in ice time – who found the back of the net.
The Americans’ penalty trouble wasn’t over, and Sweden got another 5-on-3 chance, for 39 seconds, but that one Team USA managed to kill.
However, the powerplays gave the momentum to Sweden and even if the the Americans found a new gear in gthe third period, and they showed great desperation, hitting a crossbar was as close as they got.
"Their goalie was fantastic, and their team got pucks in deep, It was a good game, but unfortunately, they came out on top," said Team USA head coach Katie Lachapelle.
The hosts move on to the final, Team USA plays for bronze.