Canada 4 - Sweden 1
GOLD MEDAL FINAL
CANADA STRIKES GOLD AGAIN IN ITALY
The pressure of being the heavy favourite in a gold medal game didn’t seem to get to the Canadians early on, as they carried the play.
Gillian Apps (Unionville, ON/Dartmouth College) opened the scoring at 3:15, carrying the puck out of the corner and surprising Swedish netminder Kim Martin on the backhand.
A turnover at the nine minute mark led to a great Caroline Ouellette chance in alone, but Martin. But at 12:13, Ouellette (Montreal, QC/Minnesota-Duluth, WCHA) took a great feed from Jayna Hefford on a two-on-one break and this time, she found the mark. Canada was up 2-0 and outshot Sweden 11-2.
Cherie Piper (Scarborough, ON/Dartmouth College) added a third goal at 8:58 of the second period, taking a Hayley Wickenheiser pass and knocking home her 7th goal of the Olympics. Less than two minutes later, at 10:27, Canada added a fourth, Jennifer Botterill came from behind net and found Jayna Hefford by the side if the net.
In the third, Sweden finally got on the scoreboard, during a power play, as defenceman Gunilla Anderson’s shot from the point, only their 8th shot in the game, eluded Charline Labonté at 5:24.
But that was as close as Sweden was going to get. Canada shut down Sweden’s power play for the rest of the game, and skates off with a 4-1 win and a second consecutive gold medal in women’s hockey.
Jayna Hefford: "Every one (gold medal) is different. Each experience is
different and each team is different. We had a great year and this is so sweet."
Prior to Canada’s round robin game against Sweden, it was mentionned that Sweden and Finland were on the rise and getting closer and closer to join Canada and the USA in that upper echelon of women’s hockey nations. Consider Sweden’s journey complete.
After capturing bronze at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and at the 2005 World Championship which it hosted, Sweden is now poised to the best result of its history. And Sweden is getting to this gold medal stage a little ahead of schedule, as the team is built on a number of very young players, perhaps targetting 2010 as its coming-out party.
Canada has swept its seven games against Sweden this season, including an 8-1 pasting of the Swedes during the Olympics round robin.
Both teams realize that this is a different Swedish team, a team with new confidence and a win against the USA under its belt.
TO WATCH ON TEAM SWEDEN
Goaltender Kim Martin has arrived. Already considered one of the top goaltenders in the World, her win over the U.S. on the Olympic stage has vaulted to stardom.
Veteran Maria Rooth has been great for Sweden since the beginning of the tournament, and had the game of her career against the U.S. Sweden will need Rooth at her best to surprise Canada.
Gunilla Andersson logs important minutes on defence for Sweden, and defensive discipline will be very important for the Swedes, especially facing Canada’s four solid lines.
Pernilla WInberg may be only 16 years old, but she’s only two days removed from scoring the most important goal in swedish women’s hockey history. A very skilled forward, she will once again be counted on for a performance well beyond her years.
Pre-game Women's quotes
Melody Davidson: "We did not prepare as if it was going to be the United States in
the final. We prepared for three teams - the Swedes, the Finns and the Americans - and I feel we are
ready to go. Be we did not prepare just for the States."
For more information:
André Brin Manager, Communications | Premier responsable, relations médias