Preliminary standings were on the line on the sixth day of the 2022 women’s World Championship.
In Group A, the marquee matchup of Canada versus USA lived up to the hype, while Finland secured the third spot in the group. In Group B, Sweden and Czechia played for first with Czechia coming out on top, and Germany avoided relegation play with last-second heroics.
With the standings secured, next up are the quarterfinals. Here's a look back at Tuesday:
USA Comes Back To Win
This was always destined to be the highlight of the preliminary round, and the game did not disappoint as USA came from behind to take a 5-2 win.
In the opening period, Sarah Fillier lost her coverage in front and banged a rebound off Renata Fast’s point shot 3:29 into the game to make it 1-0 for Canada.
As the period was winding down, Ella Shelton slid down weak side on the power play and found a loose puck beating American goaltender Nicole Hensley to make it 2-0.
USA however, would not quit answering back on a powerplay of their own in the second period. In what looked like a fanned shot, Megan Keller's attempt hit off some feet eluded Emerance Maschmeyer to close the gap to 2-1. Just beyond the midway point of the game, another USA point shot, this one coming from Cayla Barnes, was tipped out front by Kelly Pannek to tie the game 2-2, which is how the game would enter the third.
In the third period, the tied game did not last long as Lacey Eden wired a shot from the left faceoff dot 3:14 into the period. From there, USA continued to push with their veteran stars Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight each scoring to lift the USA to the 5-2 win.
Finland Shuts Out Switzerland
In a battle for third place in Group A, Finland left no doubt who would take that position with a convincing 4-0 win over Switzerland.
Early in the first period, Petra Nieminen drove to the net using her body to protect the puck, but it was linemate Susanna Tapani who followed it up and ended up on the ice inside the crease as the puck crossed the line at 2:51 to open the scoring. Less than four minutes later Elisa Holopainen collected a turnover from a Swiss defender behind the net before walking out front and scoring high over Andrea Braendli’s glove.
At 27:49 in the second period, Michelle Karvinen sent a crisp pass to the slot where Krista Parkkonen wasted no time beating Braendli with a one-timer to increase Finland’s lead to three. With only 38 seconds remaining in the period with a two-player advantage, Nelli Laitinen took a point shot which Ronja Savolainen tipped home for the powerplay goal to round out the scoring in the 4-0 decision.
Czechia Takes Group B, Downs Sweden
In a game that would decide the top two places in Group B, Czechia asserted their place as the team to beat winning the contest 3-0.
After a scoreless first period, Vendula Pribylova opened the scoring at 29:11 on an individual effort that saw her button hook along the board deep in Sweden’s zone before walking the puck back around the faceoff circle into the slot where she beat Emma Soderberg stick-side.
In the third period, Kristyna Patkova made a nifty drop pass to Natalie Mlynkova who went up top to beat Soderberg and extend Czechia’s lead. Then, with eight minutes left on the clock, Sweden, who needed a regulation win to take first in Group B, pulled their goaltender, but Czechia’s Klara Hymlarova put the game away by scoring on the empty net.
Sweden outshot Czechia 27-24 in the game, with Czechia’s Klara Peslarova stopping each shot she faced for the shutout.
Last Second Goal Lifts Germany
With one second left of the clock, Germany’s Tanja Eisenschmid scored to lift Germany to a 3-2 win over Denmark in Group B play.
Josefine Persson opened the scoring for Denmark 4:40 into the first period on a semi-breakaway off the rush. Germany managed to even the game less than four minutes later as Franziska Feldmeir tipped home a point shot on the powerplay.
Denmark’s Emma Russell scored the second period's lone goal on another shot through traffic.
In the third period, fighting to avoid relegation play, Germany tied it up at with a goal in tight by Laura Kluge, before Tanja Eisenschmid played hero with one second left and an extra attacker on the ice for the Germans lifting them to the 3-2 win.
1. Megan Keller, D (USA): Leading all players on the American team in ice time throughout the preliminary round, Keller again played over 20 minutes and scored a goal and an assist while matching up against Canada’s top line defensively throughout the game. It was a huge performance for the blueliner.
2. Petra Nieminen, C (FIN): On the game's opening goal, Petra Nieminen did everything except put the puck in the net. She drove, protected the puck, created havoc out front, and linemate Susanna Tapani put it home. Throughout the game, Nieminen pushed back the Swiss defenders and spread the zone, twice getting breakaways. She’s been an offensive leader for Finland thus far.
3. Nicole Hensley, G (USA): After a rough start in the game's opening period, Hensley outperformed her Canadian counterpart in net making key saves down the stretch for the Americans. She weathered the storm turning aside 26 shots in the win.
Quarterfinal Schedule (Sept. 1)
Switzerland vs. Japan - 6:00 AM ET
USA vs. Hungary - 10:00 AM ET
Finland vs. Czechia - 11:30 AM ET
Canada vs. Sweden - 2:00 PM ET