Women’s team wins last tournament before Worlds
The Damkronorna had three full-pot wins against Germany, Finland and Russia.
The Swedes opened their campaign with a dominant yet tight 2-0 victory over Division I favourites Germany. The Swedes clearly had the upper hand throughout most of game, winning the shot count 41-21, but were only able to crack the German goaltender Jennifer Harss once with just 3:47 left in the third period, when Elin Lundberg found the back of the net. Alexandra Palm then scored in the empty net to seal the win for the home nation.
The Swedes’ next opponent was old rivals Finland, who had a 3-1 come-from-behind-victory against Russia in their first game of the tournament. The Damkronorna proved too strong for the Finns, on the back of an impressive hat trick from 23-year-old Lisa Johansson, who gave the Swedes a 2-1 lead within 1:25 in the middle of the second period, after Sara Karna had put Finland up 1-0 earlier in the period. Johansson put the game beyond a doubt at 4-1 with three minutes left in the third period to cap off an incredible game for her and her teammates.
A win from Russia against Sweden in the final match of the tournament would have seen the two teams, plus Finland all finish on six points and the winner decided by tie-breakers. But the women from Sweden made sure that they took their final chance to stamp their authority and build their confidence before the World Championship, which will take place 28 March to 4 April 2016, by holding out a hungry Russian team 3-2 to take all nine points on offer over the three days.
Switzerland also took three wins in the Mountain Cup on home ice in Schaffhausen. The Swiss, who will be looking to at least repeat their quarter-final appearance of the 2015 and 2016 Women’s World Championships, opened up the Cup with a 3-2 overtime win against the Czech Republic with a goal from Alina Muller just 19 seconds into the extra frame. They then shrugged off second-place Norway (6-2) and a winless France (4-0) to be the standouts over the weekend.
The Czechs failed to live up to their first game performance against the Swiss, only managing to beat France (5-2) but to then get pummelled by Division I team Norway (4-0), to finish third in the Cup.
The Hungarians made it 3-for-3 for the home teams during the international break, winning their tournament played in Budapest against higher ranked competition from Denmark, Slovakia and Austria. The Hungarians, who will play in the World Championship Division I Group B in Italy, went undefeated in regulation against their Division IA opponents, beating Slovakia (3-0), losing to Austria (4-3) in a shootout, then taking a shootout victory of their own against Denmark (6-5).
The win against the Danes saw both teams finish with 6 points and the tournament victory handed to the Hungarians, the Slovaks finishing third and the Austrians fourth.
|Four Nations Tournament in Oskarshamn, Sweden|
|Standings: 1. Sweden 9, 2. Finland 6, 3. Russia 3, 4. Germany 0|
|Mountain Cup in Schaffhausen, Switzerland|
|12. Feb||Switzerland||-||Czech Republic||3-2 OT|
|13. Feb||Czech Republic||-||France||5-2|
|14. Feb||Norway||-||Czech Republic||4-0|
|Standings: 1. Switzerland 8, 2. Norway 6, 3. Czech Rep. 4, 4. France 0|
|Budapest Tournament in Budapest, Hungary|
|13. Feb||Slovakia||-||Denmark||1-2 GWS|
|13. Feb||Hungary||-||Austria||3-4 GWS|
|14. Feb||Hungary||-||Denmark||6-5 GWS|
|Standings: 1. Hungary 6, 2. Denmark 6, 3. Slovakia 4, 4. Austria 2|
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