GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWEDEN (APRIL 13)
It’s on to the playoffs for Canada’s National Women’s Team, which takes on Sweden in quarterfinal action Thursday at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Canada outlasted the United States 4-3 in a shootout thriller on Monday night. Jamie Lee Rattray scored the winner in the ninth round after 15 straight shooters were denied, capping off a perfect preliminary round for the Canadians. On her 29th birthday, Ann-Renée Desbiens put on a memorable performance — she stopped 26 of 29 shots she faced, included a crucial stop on Hilary Knight in overtime, and turned away eight of nine in the shootout.
Sweden clinched third place in Group B thanks to an 8-2 thrashing of France on Tuesday. Hanna Olsson had herself a monstrous seven-point night that included four goals and three helpers in a game that saw Sweden pour 21 shots on the French in the third period alone.
These two teams last faced each other at this same stage at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship last summer, a game that saw Canada blank the Swedes 3-0. Sarah Potomak had herself a two-point night while Marie-Philip Poulin recorded her 100th international assist on a goal by Jocelyne Larocque goal, which happened to be her first at a Women’s Worlds.
What to Watch
Fillier has picked up right where she left off last summer. After leading Canada in scoring in Denmark with five goals and 11 points in seven games, the Georgetown, Ont., native (who was born in Brampton), is more than halfway to that total after the prelims, pacing the Canadian offence with four goals and seven points. She has combined with Sarah Nurse and the returning Natalie Spooner to form a lethal second line for Canada.
Olsson, Lina Ljungblom and 16-year-old Hilda Svensson powered the Swedes to a third-place finish in Group A and sit one-two-three in tournament scoring through the preliminary round. The trio have a combined 29 points in four games (led by 10 from Olsson), while 21-year-old Ljungblom leads all players in goals with six. In total, the line has scored 14 of Sweden’s 18 goals in the tournament.
A Look Back
The Canadians and Swedes were frequent foes through the 1990s and 2000s, but the quarterfinal clash last year was the first meeting between the countries at Women's Worlds since 2009.
Canada owns a perfect 10-0 record against Sweden at the Women’s Worlds, having outscored them 77-6 during that span. In their last three meetings, Canada has scored a combined 20 goals, and you have to go back to the 2004 Women’s Worlds in Halifax to find the last time a Swede (Jenni Asserholt) managed to score on Canada.
All-time record: Canada leads 78-2-1
Canada goals: 506
Sweden goals: 68