Coming off a win its tournament opener,
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team
looks to keep the momentum going against host Sweden as the preliminary
round continues at the 2023 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Canada started its prelim schedule with
an 8-0 win over Finland on Sunday
. Caitlin Kraemer opened the scoring with a pair of first-period goals and
added an assist for a three-point night. Alex Law had three assists, and
Abby Stonehouse, Gracie Graham and Piper Grober had a goal and a helper
apiece as Canada outshot the Finns 48-9.
The Swedes opened their tournament Sunday with
a 6-3 loss to the United States
. Sweden – which blanked the U.S. 1-0 in pre-tournament play – stayed close
to the eight-time world champions, going to the second intermission down
just a goal before the Americans pulled away in the third period. Emma
Rehn, Mira Hallin and Linnea Natt och Dag provided the scoring, while Ida
Henriksson made 37 saves.
The last time the two teams met was during the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World
Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, when
the Canadians earned a 3-1 preliminary-round win
. Reichen Kirchmair and Rhea Hicks scored in the first period and Hicks
added a second in the second as Canada racked up 56 shots on goal. Mari
Pietersen finished with 34 saves, 14 of them in the third period.
WHAT TO WATCH
Canada showed against the Finns that its defence isn’t afraid to jump into
the rush or contribute from the point. Three blue-liners – Grober, Graham
and Keira Hurry – scored goals and five of the seven recorded points. They
also held the Finns to just nine shots on goal, so it was quite a 200-foot
performance from the ‘D’ corps.
Just two games in (including pre-tournament play), and goaltending is
proving to be a strength for Sweden. Henriksson turned in a solid
performance against the Americans as mentioned above, and she combined with
Felicia Frank for a 49-save shutout of the U.S. in exhibition action.
Success in short-term competition almost always includes terrific
netminding, and the Swedes look like they have that.
A LOOK BACK
Canada and Sweden have met on the ice 10 times at the U18 women’s worlds,
with Canada owning a perfect record.
A trio of Olympic gold medallists have turned in terrific performances
against the Swedes – Mélodie Daoust had four points (3-1—4) to lead the way
a 6-1 semifinal win in 2009
, while the defensive duo of Brigette Lacquette (1-3—4) and Erin Ambrose
(0-4—4) helped Canada to
an 8-0 prelim win in 2010
All-time record: Canada leads 10-0
Canada goals: 55
Sweden goals: 9