Sweden to play for gold

YOG: Defending champs defeat Slovaks in semis

19.02.2016
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Sweden posted its second shutout win in six games at the 2016 Youth Olympic women's tournament. Photo: Fredrik Olastuen

LILLEHAMMER – Sweden is off to its second straight Youth Olympic women’s tournament gold medal game, after shutting out Slovakia 5-0 in the semi-final.

The Swedish women’s team won gold in the inaugural Youth Olympics back in 2012 in Innsbruck. They will ge the chance to make it two in a row this Sunday in Lillehammer.

“We played a great match, we played our game and were successful,” said Sofie Lundin. “We are excited to be able to play for a gold medal now.” 

In the semi-final against the Slovaks, Sweden opened the scoring two minutes into the first period on a two-on-one, Lina Ljungblom setting up Sofie Lundin for the one-time wristshot straight into the top corner of the Slovak net.

Less than two minutes later Josefin Bouveng scored Sweden’s second goal, getting her own rebound after a shot in the high slot and scoring with a low shot through the legs of goaltender Simona Lezovicova.

Team captain Maja Nyhlen Persson added another twelve seconds later, putting the Slovaks into a deep hole early in the game.
  
Sweden did some more damage before the intermission, as Ljungblom deflected a Sofie Lundin shot shot from the point for the 4-0 lead. The Damkronorna cruised the rest of the way, limiting the Slovak offence to a handful of shots on net, none threatening goaltender Anna Amholt who collected her second shutout of the tournament.

“Great first period, our defence and goalie were great,” said defenceman Wilma Carlsson. “We didn’t know each other before the tournament but we are having fun.”

Sweden has been steadily improving throughout the tournament, and today looked much better than in its preliminary round game against Slovakia, a 2-1 shootout win.

Looking like the favourites to win gold regardless of their opponent, the Swedes will await the winner of the other semi-final between Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

ADAM STEISS

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