Canada advance to World Women’s Hockey semi-finals with 3-0 win over Sweden

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HERNING, DENMARK — Sarah Potomak scored a goal and an assist to lead Canada to a 3-0 victory over Sweden in the quarterfinals of the World Women’s Hockey Championship on Thursday.

HERNING, DENMARK — Sarah Potomak scored a goal and an assist to lead Canada to a 3-0 victory over Sweden in the quarterfinals of the World Women’s Hockey Championship on Thursday.

Jocelyne Larocque and Erin Ambrose also scored for the defending champions, who will face Switzerland in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The medal games are Sunday.

Canadian starter Ann-Renée Desbiens posted a nine-save shutout Thursday.

Emma Soderberg, who nets for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, was a workhorse with 54 saves for Sweden.

Minus captain Lara Stalder and top scorer Alina Mueller due to COVID-19, the Swiss beat Japan 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday.

Czechia, coached by former Canadian defender Carla MacLeod, have displayed the upset of the tournament so far and reached the semi-finals for the first time with a 2-1 overtime victory against Finland.

The United States had an easier time in their 12-1 quarter-final victory over Hungary to face the Czechs on Saturday.

American forward Hilary Knight’s goal and assist for 87 career world championship points surpassed Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser for the all-time record.

Canada and Sweden met in a world championship game for the first time since 2009, although the Canadians beat the Swedes 11-0 in the Olympic quarter-finals in February.

Soderberg lasted two periods of the quarterfinal in Beijing, but she gobbled up the puck on Thursday.

Sweden, Olympic silver medalists in 2006, were relegated to the 2019 world championship.

The national team later boycotted the international competition to protest pay and other competition issues. The dispute was resolved later that year.

The COVID-19 pandemic eliminated second-tier world championships for Sweden to gain promotion, but the world No. 8 replaced Russia in this year’s 10-country tournament.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has banned Russia from participating in tournaments due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Canada generated sustained pressure in the Swedish side for long stretches of the first and second periods, but Soderberg helped limit the Canadians to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Ambrose fired a point shot over Soderberg’s shoulder at 13:10 of the third period.

Three power-play chances in the first 10 minutes of the second were scoreless for Canada, which went 0-for-8 on aggregate, but Potomak scored with an even-strength effort.

She scraped the puck from the boards in the neutral zone, sliced ​​by Swedish defenseman Maja Persson Nylen who went from backhand to forehand to solve Soderberg at 13:56 of the second period.

Larocque scored her first world championship goal in the veteran defender’s 10th tournament.

Shots on goal 14-1 in the first period, the Swedes held Canada scoreless until 17:11 when Renata Fast, below the goal line, sent Larocque up front for a successful wrist shot.

Canadian head coach Troy Ryan continued to juggle his lines ahead of practice the night before, including turning Victoria Bach into a trio with Marie-Philip Poulin and Brianne Jenner, and Sarah Nurse getting ice time with Sarah Fillier and Emily Clark.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 1, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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