ÖSTERSUND, Sweden – Following a three-goal third period, The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team topped Sweden, 6-3, in the opening game of the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Östersund on Sunday.
“I thought we had a really strong start to the game,” Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine), head coach of the 2023 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team said. “Sweden did a really good job pushing back and the pace of play was back-and-forth. They played physical, and we tried to play physical as well.”
Team USA opened the game with a strong offensive push. Less than a minute in, Cassie Hall (South Lyon, Mich.) had a point-blank shot from outside the crease that was swallowed by the Swedish netminder.
The U.S. opened the scoring on a power-play goal, 6:28 into the first frame. Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y.) put a shot on net from the goal line that rebounded up the middle to Molly Jordan (Berlin, Conn.). Jordan then skated in from between the circles, sliding a low weak-sideshot that tipped off Ava Lindsay’s (Minnetonka, Minn.) stick past the Swedish goaltender to put Team USA up, 1-0.
With just under five minutes remaining in the first frame, Sweden equalized the game on a short-handed goal. Swedish forward Emma Rehn capitalized on a neutral-zone turnover, opening a breakaway down the left side, sliding a rising shot to the back of the net to knot the game at 1-1.
An early second-period penalty kill saw goaltender Annelies Bergmann (Detroit, Mich.) make multiple sliding saves to keep the game tied.
With 11:57 remaining in the second, Josie St. Martin (Stillwater, Minn.) dropped a pass to Samantha Taber (Tewksbury, Mass.). Taber carried the puck to the center of the ice, letting a rising shot rip up the middle, bouncing off the Sweden goalie’s mask, giving the U.S. a 2-1 lead.