United States 7, Sweden 1
NAGANO, Japan (AP) _ Karyn Bye scored the tiebreaker and added a shorthanded goal as the United States defeated Sweden 7-1 Monday in Olympic women’s ice hockey.
Defenseman Sue Merz added a goal and two assists after the U.S. team got over a slow start, giving up its first goal of the tournament midway through the first period.
Sweden held the U.S. offense down through the first, although it managed only one shot on goal. But that one was enough as Pia Morelius deflected Therese Sjoelander’s power-play shot past U.S. goalie Sara DeCosta to make it 1-0.
The United States tied it 6 1/2 minutes later on an end-to-end rush, when Merz’s pass through traffic reached Laurie Baker, who fired point-blank on Sweden goalie Annica Ahlen.
Ahlen shut down the U.S. offense until 12:39 of the second, when Bye scored 25 seconds into a two-player advantage.
The United States scored every two minutes after that to make it 5-1 at the end of the period. Katie King chipped in a rebound, while Merz and Bye both picked up mishandled pucks in the neutral zone and raced in unimpeded to score.
Sweden again managed to tie up the United States through the third until Gretchen Ulion slipped through the crease to put another rebound past Ahlen. Shelley Looney scored a shorthanded goal from the left circle after grabbing another loose puck.
Bye had a scary moment midway through the third while trying to stop a Swedish breakaway, sliding on her stomach face-first into the goalpost, knocking it from its moorings.
She skated with help to the bench and remained there for a few moments but returned to the game.
Defenseman Tara Mounsey, who came to Japan with a sprained knee but was cleared to play in the opening game Sunday, blocked a slapshot with her stomach in the first period and left the game. She returned in the second to earn an assist on Bye’s first goal.