Canada beats Sweden 3-2 in quarterfinals at women’s world hockey championship in Brampton
Published April 14, 2023 at 6:16 am
Sarah Nurse scored her second goal of the game at 4:26 of overtime as Canada picked up a nervy 3-2 victory over feisty Sweden on Thursday to advance to the semifinals at the women’s world hockey championship.
Blayre Turnbull had the other goal for Canada.
Emerance Maschmeyer registered the victory in goal with 12 saves after No. 1 option Ann-Renee Desbiens made 26 saves in Monday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the United States to secure top spot in Group A.
Nurse took a pass from Sarah Fillier in 3-on-3 OT before ripping a shot upstairs on Emma Soderberg, who was heroic in an extra period where her teammates barely touched the puck.
Canada improved to 11-0 all-time at the worlds against Sweden, but it was far from easy.
Lina Ljungblom and Hilda Svensson replied for the Swedes. Soderberg — the only reason the score was close — took the loss despite a 51-save effort.
Canada will face either Switzerland or Japan, which played Thursday’s late game, in Saturday’s semifinals.
The U.S. is set to meet Czechia in the other semifinal. The Americans beat Germany 3-0 in the quarters Thursday, while the Czechs topped Finland 2-1.
The 5 p.m. ET puck drop made for a bit of a late-arriving crowd, but some fans at the suburban CAA Centre took advantage of temperatures that hit 27 Celsius with some tailgating in the parking lot before heading into the arena.
Trailing 2-1 late in the third period and not offering much of anything in attack, Sweden tied the game to stun the partisan CAA Centre crowd on a scramble with 9.2 seconds left on a sequence that stood up after video review.
Canada pressed and pressed in OT with Soderberg standing tall before Nurse finally won it.
The hosts opened Thursday’s scoring just over eight minutes into the first on a terrific rush from Turnbull.
The Canadian forward took a pass at her own blue line and sped through the neutral zone before blowing past a couple of Swedes and slipping a backhand five-hole on Soderberg.
It was mostly one-way traffic throughout the first, with Canada directing 14 shots on target compared to just five against.
The Canadians expected a physical encounter against Sweden — and that’s what they got.
Players on both sides didn’t shy away from taking the body, while there were a couple of scrums after whistles.
Hanna Olsson levelled Canada’s Laura Stacey on a Swedish power play, but was penalized for an illegal hit that eventually led to Nurse’s breakthrough at the other end.
With Sweden trying to kill off the final seconds of Olsson’s infraction, Nurse fired the puck upstairs on Soderberg for a 2-0 lead.
But the Swedes got to within one after Turnbull took a penalty for an illegal hit when Ljungblom beat Maschmeyer from the slot for her country’s first goal against Canada at the worlds since 2004.
Canada came out with renewed vigour in the third period — captain Marie-Philip Poulin hit the crossbar seven minutes in — before Sweden killed another illegal hit penalty to stay within one.
Fillier came close to making it 3-1 with five minutes left in regulation, but the puck stayed out to keep the encounter on a knife edge despite the Swedes offering almost nothing in attack at even strength.
Turnbull then fired wide with under two minutes to go as Canada kept up the pressure and didn’t allow Soderberg to leave her crease for an extra attack until there was 50 seconds on the clock before the Swedes tied it late.
Canada is looking for its third world title in less than 20 months after snapping a U.S. run of five straight in 2021.
The Canadians also beat their rival and fellow North American powerhouse for gold at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Canada hammered Sweden 11-0 in the quarters at those Games, but only bested the Europeans by a 3-0 scoreline at the same stage of the 2022 worlds back in September.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2023.
Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter.
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
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