MADISON, Wis. – The U.S. skated past Sweden, 6-1, in the opening game of the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. Cassie Hall (South Lyon, Mich.) led Team USA with three points (2G, 1A) in the winning effort.
“I thought we came out pretty hard at the start of the game,” head coach Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine) said. “That was our focus, just focusing on ourselves and making sure we can get our feet moving and play together as a team.”
The top-seeded U.S. started the game strong with Elyssa Biederman (Franklin, Mich.) drawing a Team USA power play less than three minutes into the game.
On the ensuing power-play, Laila Edwards (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) capitalized to give the U.S. the lead 3:09 into the game. Edwards took a feed from Kirsten Simms (Plymouth, Mich.) across the crease, and snuck it five-hole to open the scoring.
Sweden responded with offensive pressure of its own, drawing a power play, but the U.S. penalty kill and goaltender Annelies Bergmann (Lancaster, Pa.) couldn’t be beaten.
Hall then opened a 2-0 lead for the U.S. at 11:30 of the first when she roofed a shot from the right circle. Hall then put another one on the board just 47 seconds later off a rebound to extend the U.S. lead to 3-0.
Team USA’s offense kept chugging when Josie St. Martin (Stillwater, Minn.) took a pass from Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y.) and buried it from close range to put the U.S. up 4-0 after the opening frame.
After Sweden drew back-to-back penalties to close out the first period, Team USA managed to kill off the 5-on-3 opportunity that carried over into the second.
A quiet second saw the U.S. extend its lead, but not before several key defensive plays. Bergmann made some critical stops in the stanza following a number of kerfuffles in front of the net. While shorthanded, Biederman took a breakaway pass and beat the Swedish netminder on the rush to extend the lead to 5-0.
Sweden broke the shutout on a power-play goal from Ebba Hedqvist 1:23 into the third period.
The U.S. answered with 4:48 to play to extend the lead to 6-1. Sydney Morrow (Darien, Conn.) stickhandled around a defender in the offensive corner before firing a cross-ice pass through the crease to a waiting Tessa Janecke (Orangeville, Ill.), who one-timed it home from the doorstep.
Next up, the U.S. takes on Finland tomorrow (June 7). Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. CT (live on ESPN+). The game will also be available on next-day delay (June 8) at 12 p.m. ET on NHL Network.
NOTES: Team USA outshot Sweden, 47-21 … Cassie Hall was named the U.S. Player of the Gamem … Annelies Bergmann made 20 saves in the victory.