2011 IIHF Women's World Championship

Canada 5 - Sweden 0


WINTERTHUR, Switzerland – The Canadian women's hockey team has a good idea what to expect early in the women's world hockey championship after a frustrating 5-0 exhibition win over Sweden on Thursday.

Playing the Swedes feels like swimming in molasses because they clog up the middle lanes and do whatever they can get away with to slow Canada's attack. Sweden traps and then hopes to score on a turnover or on a power play.

Canada were frustrated in the first period but they found their way through the Swedish blanket to score five unanswered goals over the last 40 minutes at the Eishalle Deutweg.

It's nothing the Canadians haven't seen before from the Swedes. The Olympics champions won't be surprised if their preliminary-round opponents – Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Finland – employ some of those tactics as well.

“The European teams really like to trap us and they're really physical because they know they can be physical against us and we're not going to fall down,” said forward Sarah Vaillancourt.

Vaillancourt, from Sherbrooke, Que., scored a pair of goals to pace Canada. Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., scored her 150th career goal in her 228th game wearing the Maple Leaf. Montreal's Catherine Ward and Caroline Ouellette also scored for Canada.

Edmonton Shannon Szabados earned the 20-save shutout, while Canada pelted Sweden's Kim Martin and Sara Grahn with 55 shots. Martin gave up one goal in the first half of the game, while Grahn allowed the other four.

Head coach Ryan Walter said Szabados will be back in net Saturday when Canada opens against the host Swiss in Winterthur. Kim St. Pierre will start Sunday's game against Kazakhstan, he added.

The Swedes play a chippy, scrappy game and try to get under Canada's skin. Wickenheiser was irate after she was checked into the boards behind the Canadian net by Sweden's Emma Eliasson with 30 seconds left.

Wickenheiser had words with Eliasson and swung her fist at defenceman Jenni Asserholt. Bodychecking isn't allowed in women's hockey. Canada's all-time leading scorer felt she was in a vulnerable position when she was hit and Walter concurred.

“That could have really hurt Hayley and hurt us,” he said.

It's not the first game between the Canadians and the Swedes that ended with bad blood. Wickenheiser, the captain of Canada's Olympic team, tore the helmet off Danijela Rundqvist at the 2009 Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver because she said Rundqvist slew-footed teammate Marie-Philippe Poulin.

Canada won't face the Swedes in the preliminary round because they're in Pool A in Zurich with two-time defending champ U.S., Russia and Slovakia. A semifinal matchup against Sweden is possible for Canada, however.

The Canadian team was chosen from a selection camp April 2-6. They split a two-game exhibition series with the U.S. in Ann Arbor, Mich., before arriving Sunday in Winterthur.

Special teams are a priority with so little time to prepare. Canada got work in that department Thursday, going 1-for-4 on the power play and killing off one minor.

“I was glad to get some reps there,” Walter said. “We were OK. There are still some things we need to tinker with, but the main thing is we're getting shots through.”

The Canadian women were also getting re-acquainted with the larger international ice surface after preparing for the smaller North American rink at the Olympic Games.

Their selection-camp games at the Mastercard Centre in Toronto and one of their exhibitions against the U.S. was on the big ice.

“I felt our game was tighter tonight,” Walter said. “I think we're better on the big ice, actually. We use our speed. All these teams are going to try and clog us up and we know that. We have to be smart with the puck. When we try to skate through it, we'll be in trouble.”

Ouellette was wearing the captain's 'C' in Thursday's exhibition game, but Walter said he had yet to make a final decision on who would wear what letters during the world championship.


Game Information/Renseignements sur le match
Event/Événement 2011 World Women's Champ. Location/Emplacement Zurich, SUI
Date Thurs. April 14, 2011 Arena/Aréna Eishalle Deutweg
Time/Heure 2:00 pm ET Attendance/Assistance -,---
Round/Ronde Exhibition Game #/No du match 03


Box Score/Compte


Goals/Penalties - Buts/Pénalités
First Period/Première période

Goals/Buts : 

Penalties/Pénalités : 
04:12 SWE Danijela Rundqvist (Interference/Obstruction)

Second Period/Deuxième période

Goals/Buts : 
03:43 CAN Caroline Ouellette (Tessa Bonhomme, Marie-Philip Poulin)

12:02 CAN Hayley Wickenheiser (Jayna Hefford, Meghan Agosta)

Penalties/Pénalités : 

Third Period/Troisième période

Goals/Buts : 
02:59 CAN Sarah Vaillancourt (Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin)
05:59 CAN Catherine Ward (Sarah Vaillancourt, Meaghan Mikkelson)
18:58 CAN Sarah Vaillancourt (Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin)

Penalties/Pénalités : 
04:48 SWE Gunilla Andersson (Cross-checking/Double-échec)
09:02 CAN Catherine Ward (Holding/Retenir)
11:34 SWE Linnea Bäckman (Holding/Retenir)
19:38 SWE Emma Eliasson (Elbowing/Donner du coude)


Goaltenders CAN Shannon Szabados
Gardiens de but SWE Kim Martin; Sara Grahn (in 2nd/09:43)
Shots on Goal Team 1 p 2 p 3 p Ttl
Shots on Goal CAN - - - 56
Tirs au but SWE - - - 20
Referee/Arbitre Diane Michaud
Linesmen/Juges des lignes Angela Blaismann, Anne-Ruth Kuonen