International Ice Hockey Federation

Americans keep going

Americans keep going

Reideborn keeps it close in 4-0 loss

Published 08.01.2017 23:15 GMT+1 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Americans keep going
ZLIN, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 8: USA's Grace Zumwinkle #18 battles for position with Sweden's Selma Aho #3 in front of Sofia Reideborn #1 during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Team USA scored three second-period goals to blow open a close game and skate to a 4-0 win over Sweden at PSG Arena in Zlin.

The win keeps the Americans tied with Canada for first place in Group A while Sweden is now winless in two games. It also means both the U.S. and Canada have automatically qualified for the semi-finals on Friday.

The Americans poured on the shots and could have won by many more goals, but goaltender Sofia Reideborn was sensational. She stopped 57 of 61 shots while Sweden fired 23 shots at Lindsay Reed.

"We have a good goalie," Sweden's coach Ylva Lindberg said, "so it’s okay to give up shots on goal. But what we can’t do is give them good scoring chances. We did in the second, but in the third we were much better."

The Americans have yet to lose to Sweden in WW18 play, a string of success that includes eight previous wins (now nine) and a goals for-against ratio of 56-4 (now 60-4).

In fact, the last time Sweden so much as scored one goal against the U.S. was in 2009, a period that now includes seven straight shutouts.

The Americans got the only goal of the first and could have had several more except for Reideborn, who faced an incredible 27 shots. 

Delaney Drake found the net, though, on a great play, coming out of the corner with a deke and beating Reideborn to the short side with a quick shot.

The period might have gone differently had Sweden not cashed in on an early two-man advantage, but the American penalty kill was aggressive and put too much pressure on the Swedes’ playmaking abilities.

"I thought we played really well," said Anneke Linser. "We played like a team and had a lot of positive energy on the bench. And I think killing those two penalties off right away was a big factor in how the game developed."

The Swedes played their best hockey in the first half of the second period. They forechecked well, pressured the American defence, and pressured the puck carrier effectively. The only thing they couldn’t do was create many decent scoring chances on Reed.

When Linser knocked in a back-side rebound at 9:51, it felt as though Sweden had lost its chance. Less than a minute later, captain Cayla Barnes scored from the point on a power play, and at 17:23 Natalie Heising made it 4-0 on a nice end-to-end rush off a turnover at the U.S. blue line.

"They move the puck so well," Lndberg acknowledged. "When we make the right decisions, we do well, but later in the second period we gave them too many chances. It was a big down for us and a big up for them."

Teams have a day off tomorrow, but on Tuesday it wil be the United States facing Canada and the Swedes taking on Russia. The U.S. might well have the upper hand in the game given that the players arrived for today's game when the Canada-Russia game was tied 2-2 eary in the third period.

"It gives us the thought that we have to step on them right away, get them behind and have a quick start," Linser said.


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