Team USA kicked off their Four Nations Cup run with a bang yesterday when they defeated Sweden in a 10-0 shutout. The opening period of the game included 23 shots and 4 goals in a 4 minute span for the U.S.. Newly named captain Meghan Duggan opened the scoring at 13:01 and the U.S. women had a commanding 4-0 lead by 16:56.
“A quick start is something that we’ve focused on in practice a lot. We’ve been working on hustling every single play,” said defenceman Gigi Marvin, who scored in the first and third periods. “It’s just a reminder of that you play how you practice.”
The United States kept up their relentless pace for the rest of the game, allowing very little action in their own end. The second and third periods saw 2 and 4 USA goals, respectively. Eight players got in on the scoring and 11 had at least a point in the game. Swedish goaltender Sara Grahn had an outstanding 48 saves, but they were not enough to beat the deluge of United States goals. Jessie Vetter and Molly Schaus split time in net for Team USA and combined for just 8 saves in the shutout.
“I loved how our team played today,” said head coach Katey Stone. “We played with a lot of jump, a lot of intensity and a real sense of urgency. We played smart, simple hockey. We take everyday as it comes and we just have to find a way to win the game in front of us. We have great effort and hustle and I’m happy with where our team is at right now. We just need to work as hard as we can.”
Stone said she hopes to see the quick start become a trend as the tournament continues. The United States will face Canada tonight at 7:00. Canada beat Finland in a 3-1 decision in their opening game of the tournament. The winner of tonight’s game will be even closer to clinching a berth in the championship on Saturday, but the U.S. women expressed that they need no extra motivation when facing Canada.
“When we play Canada it’s the game we want to play and the game we train for,” said defenseman Kacey Bellamy. “We’re going to come out hard.”
For more information on the Four Nations Cup, including schedules and tickets; please visit USA Hockey’s website here.
Also, be sure to follow the exciting action streaming live on usahockey.fasthockey.com and on twitter@USAHockey and @usahockeyscores with the hashtag #4NationsCup.
Track the U.S. Women’s National Team throughout its journey to Sochi by following @USAHockey on Twitter or by liking U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team on Facebook.