MADISON, Wis. – Grace Dwyer (Wynnewood, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal with 6:31 to play as the U.S. came from behind in the final period to defeat Sweden, 3-2, and advance to the Gold Medal Game at the 2022 Under-18 Women’s World Championship here tonight at LaBahn Arena.
“We knew we were going to face adversity at some point,” head coach Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine) said. “Sweden played fantastic. It wasn’t by surprise, because I think our team knows how good they are. I thought our progression was great and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that we had to face a little adversity tonight.”
The teams opened the first trading chances, but both netminders held strong keeping the tilt scoreless through the opening ten minutes. Midway through the period, Team USA killed off a Sweden power play, holding them to zero shots on goal during the two minutes. Following the kill, the U.S. grabbed the momentum, registering the next several offensive opportunities.
With 7:09 remaining in the first, Sydney Morrow (Darien, Conn.) took a drop pass from Kelly Gorbatenko (Barrington, Ill.) and ripped a rising shot from the far circle past Sweden’s Lisa Jonsson for a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second, the U.S. killed off over a minute and a half of a 5-on-3 advantage for Sweden. Two minutes later, Sweden had a full two minutes of 5-on-3 opportunity. Goaltender Annelies Bergmann (Detroit, Mich.) made several point-blank saves and Sweden hit a few posts to keep the score at 1-0.
At 11:56 Sweden’s Stella Lindell snuck a rebound under Bergmann’s pads to knot the game at one. Later, at 7:33 during a power play, Sweden snuck a shot from the point past the U.S. netminder to go up 2-1. The two teams continued playing a physical middle frame, with Sweden holding a 7-2 advantage in power plays in the stanza.
With 14:45 left in regulation, Bergmann stood tall following a scramble in front of the net. Following the defensive stand, Team USA maintained offensive zone possession for the next few minutes, putting pressure on the Sweden defense.
With 6:38 remaining, Gorbatenko was denied on a point-blank shot from inside the circle, but on the ensuing shot, Grace Dwyer (Wynnewood, Pa.) found the back of the net to give Team USA the lead.
Next up, Team USA will face Canada in the Gold Medal Game on Monday, June 13. Puck drop is set for 8:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Grace Dwyer (Wynnewood, Pa.) was named player of the game… Laila Edwards, Sydney Morrow and Tessa Janecke were named IIHF Team USA best players of the tournament… The U.S. outshot Sweden, 53-24.