Sweden shocks Canada in OT at Four Nations Cup
Sweden beat Canada for the first time in women's international hockey Friday with a 2-1 overtime win at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Erin Holmlov scored a pair of power-play goals for the Swedes, who piled on each other in celebration in front of Canada's bench. After standing for the Swedish national anthem, they posed for a photo.
With Canadian forward Gillian Apps in the penalty box for roughing, Holmlov beat goaltender Kim St. Pierre with a backhand shot at 3:41 of the extra period.
Meaghan Mikkelson of St. Albert, Alta. tied the game in the third period.
Goaltender Kim St. Pierre made 20 saves in the loss, while Swedish's Sara Grahn earned her country's historic win with 29 saves.
Canada (2-1) had already secured a berth in Sunday's final, while Sweden (1-2) was destined for the bronze-medal game after two losses.
The game may have been meaningless in the standings, but the Swedes were looking for an upset. The closest Sweden had come to beating Canada was a 1-1 tie on Feb. 4, 1998, a pre-Olympic exhibition game.
The Swedes led 1-0 after two periods on Holmlov's power-play goal at 16:16 of the second period. But Mikkelson's shot from the blue-line solved Grahn at 8:53 of the third.
Neither team could produce a winner in regulation. Sweden had a the best chance to do so with a two-man advantage in the final three minutes.
The Swedes scored first on a two-man advantage with both Hayley Wickenheiser and Bobbi Jo Slusar serving penalties for hooking and interference, respectively.
Sweden established a six-team women's league this season after a trial run last season. The women's teams are attached to big-name clubs such as Modo of the Elite League.
More game experience was evident in Sweden's disciplined team defence, which was augmented by the steady work of Grahn. With the exception of a couple of chances by Pernilla Winberg in the opening minutes of the game, the Swedes didn't generate a lot of scoring opportunities from close range.
Canadian power-play struggling
But they made the most of their power-play chances, while Canada's power-play has yet to find the net at this Four Nations tournament, going 0-for-15.
Canada began ramping up the intensity in the second period, but they failed to bury the puck behind Grahn and had opportunities to do so with a few odd-man rushes.
Grahn stoned Caroline Ouellette on her doorstep and followed that up with two saves on Jennifer Wakefield. Wickenheiser, Ouellette and Hefford couldn't connect on a three-on-one late in the second period.
The Canadians seemed emotionally flat to start the game after a hard-fought 4-2 win over archrival U.S. the previous night. Canada has won the annual international women's hockey tournament four years in a row, but the U.S. is the defending world champion.