Champions crowned in VT
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 17:04
This past week, the city of Burlington and the University of Vermont hosted the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship at Gutterson Fieldhouse and Cairns Arena.
The tournament highlighted some of the top female hockey players from across the world, featuring teams from Canada, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
The evening before the tournament began, Klara Myrén, a first-year on the University of Vermont women’s ice hockey team was called up to play for Sweden’s national team.
“We are extremely happy for Klara,” associate head coach Grant Kimball said. “Playing for Team Sweden in this particular event is something she wanted to have happen since coming to UVM as a student-athlete back in September.”
Before becoming a Catamount, native Swede Myrén was named the youngest member of Sweden’s Olympic team, competing in Vancouver in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Myrén was used to competing in international competitions like this. She said she was ecstatic to have this experience.
“I can’t dream for more — it’s my home and it’s the world championship,” Myrén said. “It’s going to be awesome.”
In the first game of the tournament Sweden faced Slovakia, with Sweden earning their first win with a score of 5-1.
Over the next three days each team competed in a total of three games each, to determine a seeding schedule for the rounds to come.
USA went undefeated, having played against Canada, Russia and Finland, while other teams such as Russia could not pull off a single win.
With the start of the quarterfinals round, team Russia faced team Switzerland. Russia was still unable to come up with a win and was knocked out of the running to earn a top spot.
Sweden saw the same fate as Russia when they played against Finland, losing 2-1.
This was the final win for Finland as they went on to face Canada and Switzerland and lost both games.
Sweden and Russia went on to play each other in a placement round game to determine which team would earn fifth and sixth placements.
The game finished with a score of 2-1, with Sweden earning the fifth seed of the tournament and Russia the sixth.
In the relegation round, Germany and Slovakia faced each other twice, both times resulting with Germany as the victor.
The two teams were scheduled for a third game April 14 that was canceled, giving the win to Germany in the best of three series.
In the semifinals round, Canada earned another win against Finland, scoring a total five points to Finland’s one. Also in this round, USA demolished Switzerland, scoring 10 points while the Swiss were unable to get a single point on the board.
With just four teams left in the tournament the stakes were getting higher. On April 14, Switzerland faced Finland in competing for the Bronze Medal. By the end of the first period, the teams were tied 2-2. However, Finland did not score for the rest of the game, while Switzerland scored four times more to earn the Bronze.
Just hours later, the two women’s hockey superpowers, USA and Canada, competed for the Gold Medal in a close match.
Throughout the first period of play, each team had continuous shots, ending with USA’s 15 attempted shots and Canada with a close 13. Each team only scored once on their opponents.
With the start of the second period, Canada wasted no time adding onto their score, as Jayna Hefford scored on a power play just one minute into the period and teammate Caroline Ouellette scored another.
USA fired back as Brianne Decker and Gigi Marvin each scored goals for themselves, bringing the score even closer with a tie of 3-3 by the end of the second period.
Tensions ran high as the minutes began to tick down with the start of the final period. One minute in, Marvin scored another for USA, and was supported by her team as they held their one point lead for the next 15 minutes of the period.
The Gold Medal appeared to be in USA’s hands, but Canada’s Meghan Agosta scored again with less than three minutes left in the game, bringing the game into overtime.
Fans and players alike were on edge as the teams skated back out onto the ice to start the final round. Ouellette scored again in overtime, assisted by Agosta, bringing Canada to a 5-4 lead over the United States, and ending the game, earning Canada the Gold Medal. This was the first gold medal win for Canada at the Women’s Worlds since 2007.
“We were really sick of silver,” said Ouellette in an interview with the International Ice Hockey Federation. “I just had to shoot. It was incredible.”