In each of the eight previous World Women’s Championships, Canada has beaten the U.S. in the final. Saturday afternoon in Linkoping, Sweden, Canada will look to make it nine a row. In the semifinal round, Canada beat Finland 3-0 and the U.S. beat Sweden 4-1 to set up the gold medal game rematch. Minnesota junior Krissy Wendell, the 2005 Patty Kazmaier winner, became the first player of the tournament to earn two such honors and moved into the tournament scoring lead with four goals and five assists.
The Scandinavian teams played better in the semifinals than in the round-robin, but they will once again face off for the Bronze.
United States 4, Sweden 1
The U.S. struggled with four whistles in the first period, the last of which led to a Swede goal and 1-0 U.S. first intermission deficit, but the Americans scored three goals in the second period and stayed out of the box entirely.
Minnesota senior Kelly Stephens scored the first U.S. goal from Wendell at 3:38 of the second period on the power play. She then set up Katie King (Brown ’97) for the second U.S. goal 13 minutes later. Wisconsin senior defenseman Molly Engstrom scored a power play goal in the final minutes of the period for the 3-1 lead. Harvard junior Julie Chu assisted on both power play goals. Wendell set up another teammate, Minnesota junior Natalie Darwitz, for the 4-1 lead at 3:40 of the third period.
Chanda Gunn (Northeastern ’04) stopped 13 of 14 shots in the U.S. victory. Swedish goalie Kim Martin, who most believe to be headed to a U.S. college in the near future, stopped 27 of 31 shots in defeat.
Canada 3, Finland 0
Veterans Jayna Hefford and Hayley Wickenheiser scored just 37 seconds apart to give Canada a 2-0 lead just over four minutes into the second period, and Hefford scored from two-time World MVP Jennifer Botterill (Harvard ’03) to give Canada the 3-0 lead at 11:26 of the third period. UMD senior Caroline Ouellette and Dartmouth alum Correne Bredin ’03 assisted on Hefford’s first goal.
UMD sophomore Anna-Kaisa Piiroinen, the Bulldogs’ third-string goalie, stopped 38 of 41 shots. None of Finland’s 16 shots found the back of the net as Canada posted its fourth straight shutout.