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U.S. Tops Sweden, 2-0, in Final Preliminary Round Contest

By USAHockey.com, 01/09/19, 3:30AM EST

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U.S. clinches spot in semifinals with third consecutive victory

The United States Under-18 Women's National Team closed preliminary round play Wednesday night at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship with a 2-0 victory over Sweden at Obihiro Forest Ice Arena.

"Tonight was a great win against a quality opponent and I’m really proud of the way our group is progressing," said Maura Crowell (Mansfield, Mass.), head coach of the 2019 U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team. "We'll enjoy this win tonight before turning our attention to preparing for Saturday’s semifinal starting tomorrow."

With the victory, the U.S. (3-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) clinched a spot in the semifinals on Saturday (Jan. 12). A live stream will be provided on IIHF.com.

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Highlights

Team USA came out with a purpose in the first period, generating chances and firing shots on Swedish goaltender Amanda Johansson. 

The U.S. outshot Sweden 8-3 in the first period, but the game remained scoreless after the first 20 minutes. 

Continuing to pressure the Swedes in the second period, the U.S. drew a penalty that allowed goaltender Skylar Vetter (Lakeville, Minn.) to vacate the net for an extra attacker. As Team USA continued to control the puck inside its offensive zone, Lacey Eden (Annapolis, Md.) positioned herself in front of the net and tipped home a shot from Kiara Zanon (Rochester, N.Y.) to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 7:23. Hadley Hartmetz (Phoenixville, Pa.) picked up a secondary assist on the play, her first helper of the tournament.

The U.S. kept firing shots on net as the third period continued and went into the locker room after recording 14 shots on net in the stanza.

As the third period began, the U.S. continued to apply consistent pressure. After Sweden was assessed a penalty for having six skaters on the ice, Team USA would capitalize on the power play to expand its lead to two.

Lauren Bernard (Madison, Ohio) collected the puck near the top of the faceoff circle in the offensive zone and fired a shot on net before Katy Knoll (Amherst, N.Y.) jumped on the rebound and fired it home to double the lead for Team USA just 1:48 into the period.

Following Knoll's goal, the U.S. continued to fire shots on net, outshooting Sweden 18-4 in the third period. Vetter would continue to stand tall in net and record her first shutout of the tournament.

NOTES: Vetter was named U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. outshot Sweden, 40-17. For complete game statistics, click here ... This year marks the 12th IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship tournament. Team USA, the four-time reigning world champion, captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008, 2009) and again in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The team has taken home the silver medal in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014... Crowell is joined by assistant coaches Josh Sciba (Westland, Mich./Union College) and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) ... USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams ... IIHF.com is the streaming home of the 2019 Under-18 Women's World Championship ... For more information about the tournament, click here.

U.S. Roster

Tournament Home

2019 U.S. Tournament Schedule

Date Opponent Time (Local/ET)/RESULT VENUE LOCATION Stream/U.S. Player Of The Game
Sun., Jan. 6 Russia
Preliminary
W, 3-2 Obihiro Forest Ice Arena Obihiro, Japan Hannah Bilka
Mon., Jan. 7 Canada
Preliminary
W, 3-2 Obihiro Forest Ice Arena Obihiro, Japan Abbey Murphy
Wed., Jan. 9 Sweden
Preliminary
W, 2-0 Obihiro Forest Ice Arena Obihiro, Japan Skylar Vetter
Sat., Jan. 12 Finland
Semifinals
W, 7-1 Obihiro Forest Ice Arena Obihiro, Japan Katy Knoll
Sun., Jan. 13 Canada
Gold-Medal Game
L, 2-3 OT Obihiro Forest Ice Arena Obihiro, Japan Makenna Webster

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