2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 3
- 5 min read

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 3

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship: Day 3 by Zoë Hayden, Melissa Burgess

Sweden 8, China 1

The game started out relatively even between these two teams, but quickly fell apart for Team China once Hilda Svensson scored on Jiahui Zhan from distance at 6:38 of the first period. From that point forward it was an all-out assault, as China wasn't credited officially with a shot in the period, while Sweden amassed 20. Svensson added another power play tally, while Lina Ljungblom and Felizia Wikner Zienkiewicz added their respective second goals of the tournament.

Jiahui Zhan started the second period on the bench, as Yuqing Wang took over duties. But it was a bit of an ugly start to the period as China was unable to stop Swedish players from walking into the slot and firing at will. Sofie Lundin, Josefin Bouveng, and Hanna Olsson all scored within the first three minutes of the second to make it 7-0 for Sweden, with goals that were much the same – great shots ripped from medium distance with plenty of time to pick a spot.

China was able to tally after a heads-up pass by Sijia Du found Minghui Kong dangling at the opposite blueline. She picked up the puck and flipped a backhander past Ida Boman, up and over her pad. China got some life from that goal and started being more aggressive in the offensive zone, and unfortunately Sweden's strategy for dealing with that was to take some bad contact penalties. China couldn't get anything going on the power play though and the special teams unfortunately became offensive opportunities for Sweden, as China couldn't hold possession on their own advantage. Sara Hjalmarsson added another goal for Sweden before the end of the period, making it 8-1.

Blessedly, there were no more scoring or penalty events in the third. Sweden looked like an offensive dynamo throughout the game, and while China played hard, they definitely couldn't keep pace with an extraordinarily fast and creative Swedish team. Final shots were 56 to 6 with every player from Team Sweden getting a shot on goal. With 2 goals and an assist in this game, Hilda Svensson at least temporarily became the tournament's leading scorer.

Canada 3, Switzerland 0

Sometimes, the final score of a game doesn't well reflect how lopsided a game was, and that's certainly the case here. Canada was steady over the course of 60 minutes and outshot their opponent by a whopping 45-17 margin, but the stellar play of Andrea Brändli in net kept the game closer than it seemed.

Canada wasted no time, getting on the board just 1:10 in on Emma Maltais' second goal of the tournament. Renata Fast broke up a clearing attempt at the blue line and got the puck over to Natalie Spooner, who took it to the front of the net. Maltais capitalized on the rebound to give her team an early lead.

As the first period went on, Switzerland struggled to get any quality chances. Any time they had the puck, however briefly, it was more of a defensive game as they tried to keep it away from Canada for a moment here and there. Canada quickly broke up any plays they could string together, and soon went up 2-0 on Sarah Nurse's first goal of the tournament. Nurse and Spooner each had chances on the initial play; as Lara Stalder tried to take the puck away, Nurse poked it away, skated to the faceoff dot to Brändli's left and beat her on a high shot.

Switzerland had a few minutes of quality play early in the second period as they were on the advantage, including a lengthy 5-on-3. Further evidence of that? It took Canada over four minutes to get its first shot on goal in the period. But once they started, they couldn't stop. Shots on goal in the middle frame ended up 23-4 in Canada's favor, and it was clearer than ever that this was Canada's game to lose.

Though Switzerland did get shots on net in the third, most of them weren't high-danger chances until too late in the game. Their best pressure really came in the final minute, including multiple opportunities by Laura Zimmermann on the doorstep. Sarah Fillier added an empty-net goal with 19 seconds to play to seal the win. Seven different players had a point, and three players – Brianne Jenner, Julia Gosling and Danielle Serdachny – each recorded five shots on goal. Emerance Maschmeyer stopped all 17 shots faced.

– MB

United States 6, Czechia 0

Alex Carpenter had a hat trick, Laila Edwards scored her first – and second – goals as a member of the senior national team, and Nicole Hensley was perfect in net as the United States dominated Czechia to take the top spot in Group A. There was a lot to like in this game for the United States, from the top of the lineup to Edwards, who was one of two extra forwards on the ice. Team USA played a blisteringly fast, aggressive style that became impossible for Czechia to break, even though they have plenty of offensive weapons and defensive prowess of their own.

Carpenter opened the scoring on the United States' fifth shot of the game at 6:49. After winning the face-off, she got to the front of the net and waited as Kendall Coyne Schofield battled along the boards. Once Carpenter got the puck, she displayed excellent patience, outlasting Klára Peslarová as she came out to challenge the shooter, and backhanded it in.

Czechia then had four power plays over the next 13 minutes of game time, and despite having a few quality chances, couldn't capitalize. The officiating was certainly interesting, between what was called and, perhaps more notably, what wasn't called, but it didn't much affect the overall outcome of the game. Carpenter nearly had another goal early in the second period, but Peslarová and Daniela Pejšová were strong in the crease to deny her. Natálie Mlýnková had one of Czechia's best opportunities on a shorthanded breakaway, just missing the net on a shot with about 4:30 to play in the second.

Carpenter and Edwards scored in rapid succession, putting the United States up 3-0 with a pair of goals in a span of 59 seconds. Again, Carpenter displayed her patience as she waited, then fired off a pass to Abbey Murphy in the faceoff dot. Murphy got it up to Caroline Harvey at the point, and Carpenter took advantage of the loose puck on the rebound and lifted it in. Just moments later, Edwards scored her first goal as a member of the senior national team on a high shot that sailed above the glove of Peslarová.

Edwards added her second early in the final period, picking up a pass from Coyne Schofield and going one-on-one with the goaltender. Alone in the slot, she fired off a shot similar to her first goal, if slightly lower, and the United States took a 4-0 lead. Taylor Heise later scored her first of the tournament, faking an initial shot and holding onto the puck, then shooting it through the legs of Czechia captain Aneta Tejralová and behind the screened goaltender. Carpenter would tip in a shot from Harvey with under ten minutes to play for the 6-0 win.

Nearly every United States player registered a shot on goal, save two: Kelly Pannek and Savannah Harmon. Pannek played 9:25 as part of the fourth line. Harmon was on the top defense pairing, but left the game in the second period for an unknown reason and didn't return. She played just 2:51 in the second period and 9:37 overall, with the other defenders picking up the slack. (The United States only brought seven defenders to Utica, and dressed six, which meant they played the final period & more with only five.) We'll have to keep an eye on her status for Saturday's game against Finland.

– MB

Coming up on Saturday, April 6

  • 3:00 PM Eastern – Japan vs. Germany (Group B) (ESPN+, TSN5)
  • 7:00 PM Eastern – Finland vs. United States (Group A) (NHL Network, TSN5)

(Photo: IIHF)