All systems go for Canada-USA V

Canadians shut out Sweden 7-0, will play USA again for gold.

PSG Arena Zlin  Czech Republic

The Canadian U18 women will be looking to avenge a 5-2 loss in the 2011 gold medal game against the US on Saturday in Zlin. Photo: Phillip MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images

Canada – Sweden 7 – 0 (3 – 0, 2 – 0, 2 – 0) Game Sheet, Photos ZLIN – All through the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, it looked like powerhouses Canada and the United States were headed on yet another collision course for the gold medal. With the US taking care of business by dispatching Germany earlier in the day, Canada  blanked Sweden 7-0 in their semi-final, setting the stage for another North American battle for the gold. Cayley Mercer had a pair of goals in the first and second period, while team scoring leader Laura Stacey notched her sixth goal of the tournament as Canada’s forwards took the game to Sweden right from the opening faceoff. Goaltender Elaine Chuli got the shutout win, but was rarely harassed thanks to her teammates’ efforts up front keeping the Swedes busy defending their own net. Goals by Mercer, Erika Sowchuk, and Erin Ambrose put the Swedes in an early hole in the first period. By the third period Sweden had only mustered five shots and appeared resigned to a trip to the bronze medal game. Kristyn Cappizano scored to make it 7-0 after Sarah Lefort added a power play goal in the period for good measure, as the Canadians played out the final period, with thoughts turning towards their final and most difficult challenge on Saturday.    So for the fifth straight time in the five-year history of the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, the United States and Canada will clash once more for the gold medal. The US holds the historical advantage, with three gold medals to Canada’s one, including last year’s 5-2 championship victory in Stockholm. They will go in as the favourites, boasting four out of the five top scorers in the tournament. Sweden will play Germany for the bronze medal. The Swedes will hope to capture their third bronze medal, and erase some of the disappointment from last year’s campaign in Stockholm, where the team finished in fifth place.

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