18TH ENTRY: 9:45 p.m., April 14
Canada defeated the U.S. 5-4 at the 1:50 mark of overtime to redeem itself of its biggest loss to the U.S. in its history only a week earlier to earn the gold medal at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship.
The U.S. rallied from behind a couple times in the game, but it was Canada that erased a late deficit in the final minutes of the third period to push the game to overtime and end the host countries attempt at a four-peat.
Through the first six minutes it was mostly all Canada who grabbed the game's first six shots on goal. The first U.S. shot came at 7:04 of the first period.
Jocelyne Lamoureux drew a penalty off Natalie Spooner at 7:37 of the first period for USA's second power-play attempt, but it was Canada that took advantage off a turnover as Hayley Wickenheiser scored on a breakaway at 7:52. It was the first time the U.S. trailed all tournament.
Monique Lamoureux-Kolls nearly tied the game on the same power play as she beat Szabados with a deke to her backhand but sent the shot off the side of the net.
The U.S. found the back of the net at 12:54 of the opening frame as Kendal Coyne knocked in a rebound off a shot by Amanda Kessel.
The U.S. would jump out in front 15-13 in shots by the end of the period and Lamoureux drew a tripping penalty with only 19 seconds remaining in the stanza. Lamoureux was slow to get up as she landed hard on the ice, but made it back to the bench on her own and returned for the start of the second period.
Jayne Hefford regained the lead for Canada as she pushed the puck past U.S. netminder Molly Schaus in a scrum in front of the net at 4:07 of the second period.
Canada opened a two-goal lead only 1:29 later. The U.S. sent a shot off the cross-bar leading to breakout the other way and Caroline Oullette scored on a 2-on-1 rush.
Hefford took a couple of costly penalties in the later part of the second period. Canada killed the first one before Brianna Decker sniped a wrist shot past Szabados to cut the lead to 3-2 at 16:43 of the middle frame.
Only 25 seconds later, Gillian Apps was called for a body-checking penalty and Gigi Marvin scored at 18:86 to even the game at 3-3.
The U.S. took its first lead of the game as Marvin opened the third period's scoring with her second unassisted power-play goal only 2:57 into the frame.
Canada would score the fifth and its second power-play goal of the game with only 2:38 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
The Canadian's would end USA's attempts at a four-peat for the gold medal only 1:50 into extra time. Oullette intercepted a pass starting a odd-man rush for Canada, finished off by Meghan Agosta to claim Canada's first world championship gold medal since 2007.
The U.S. concluded the game with a 44-39 advantage in shots.
Canada has now won three games in overtime and one in a shootout while the U.S. has won one game in extra time and one in a shootout in head-to-head meetings. The U.S. won the last overtime game coming in 2011.
The top-seed and three-time defending world champion United States and No. 2 Canada made their 14th appearance in the gold-medal game.
The U.S. and Canada are the only gold-medal winners in Olympic Winter Games and IIHF Women's World Championship history.
Team USA won the inaugural Olympic gold medal in 1998, while Canada has taken the top prize in the three Olympics since (2002, 2006, 2010).
Canada has now won 10 of 14 meetings in the IIHF gold medal game entering this tournament, but the U.S. was the three-time defending champions and also won in 2005.
Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, who scored her first world championship hat trick in the preliminary game against Canada on April 7 and added three assists for a six point game, repeated the feat four days later in the game against Finland. She entered the game leading the tournament with 14 points (7-7-14). She also matched her input of goals and assists in each game, with three goals and three assists against Canada, one goal and one assist against Russia and three goals and three assists against Finland.
The line of Jocelyne Lamoureux, Kelli Stack and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls combined for 36 points in four games, ranking among the top four point-getters in the tournament entering the championship game, but were held scoreless in the gold-medal game.
Click here for Lamoureux's postgame interview.
17TH ENTRY: 6:30 p.m., April 14
Switzerland defeated Finland 6-2 today to claim its first medal in international women's hockey with the bronze.
Since advancing to Gutterson Field House after winning "Group B" play over at Cairns Arena, Switzerland began to win over the crowd becoming the fan favorites as it defeated Russia in the quarterfinals, suffered a big loss to the U.S., but rebounded with the big upset win over Finland in the bronze-medal game.
Switzerland lost its first game to Germany in the tournament, but went on to only lose one game the rest of the way, as it relied heavily on Patty Kazmaier top-3 finalist Florence Schelling who has been spectacular all tournament. She did not start in the loss against Germany, but led Switzerland to a 4-1 record after the opening game finishing the tournament with a .939 save percentage and a 3.33 goals against average. She allowed only 16 goals in five games with nine of them coming against the U.S.
In the bronze-medal game, Finland heavily out shot Switzerland 52-25 but the biggest difference was the played a very good first period to gain confidence the rest of the way.
Finland jumped out to a 1-0 lead only 4:48 into the opening frame but Switzerland answered at the 11:25 mark. Finland scored its second power-play goal of the game at 17:27 of the first frame to regain the lead, but again Switzerland responded to tie the game - this time coming with only one second remaining in the first period - to send the game into the first intermission square at two goals each.
Finland's urgency increased in the second period as it out shot Switzerland 24-4, but it was the underdogs that scored the period's lone goal to enter the final period with the lead.
It was all Switzerland in the third period added three goals in the final stanza to conclude the game with five unanswered goals.
After the game it was fun to see the winning team celebrate as if they won gold, as the team celebrated with head first slides around the ice.
After the game, Switzerland's captain Kathrin Lehmann was being interviewed and with a smile on her face the entire time, announced this would be her last game. She is 32 years of age and led her team to a bronze medal that most would have thought their chances of being relegated were higher than winning a medal.
There medals will be awarded along with the gold and silver medals after tonight's championship game between the U.S. and Canada.
16TH ENTRY: 9:45 p.m. April 13
Kelli Stack scored the first two goals in the game and Brianna Decker tallied the third to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead at the first intermission while outshooting Switzerland 31-2 in the frame.
The U.S. went on to win 10-0 while getting 80 shots on goal to Switzerland's 10.
The two women's hockey international powerhouses of the U.S. and Canada will meet for the gold medal Saturday night at 6 p.m. CDT.
Last Saturday the U.S. skated to a shocking 9-2 win over their rivals from the north. I don't think anybody is expecting another lopsided result like last weekend.
Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was held scoreless for the first time in the tournament while Jocelyne Lamoureux finished with one goal and one assist. Thirteen skaters for the U.S. recorded a point in the game.
Lamoureux-Kolls continues to lead the tournament however in points with 14 while linemates Stack has 13 and Lamoureux has nine to place second and third, respectively.
Click here for Lamoureux-Koll's postgame interview including her thoughts on tonight's game and the matchup against Canada.
Patty Kazmaier top-3 finalist Florence Schelling was pulled from the game with 11:37 remaining but made 59 saves on 68 shots and received a standing ovation when leaving the ice.
The Swiss will meet Finland tomorrow in its attempt at a first medal in the games.
Click here for a full recap.
15TH ENTRY: 6 p.m. April 13
Congratulations to Susanne Fellner, Tanja Eisenschmid and Germany for winning their relegation series sweeping Slovakia with a 3-1 win today.
With the win, the Germans will again be in the top division at next year's tournament in Ottawa.
Eisenschmid picked up her first career goal with the top German team, scoring its third goal at 14:02 of the third period. Fellner also assisted on the goal. The former Fighting Sioux and future Fighting Sioux had a good tournament, spending most of it as the top defensemen pairing for Germany.
In the first semifinal of the day, Canada proved to be too much for Finland beating them for the second time in the tournament this afternoon 5-1.
The Canadians got out to quick start, scoring two goals in the first five minutes of the game. Finland opened the game attempting to trap Canada who quickly took advantage getting the early lead and forcing head coach Pekka Hamalainen to take his team's timeout.
The 2-0 score would hold into the first intermission, but Canada tallied another quick goal only 2:06 into the second period.
Finland would score on a delayed penalty to cut the lead to 3-1 at 10:32 of the second period.
Canada would score the only two goals of the third period to earn its way to the gold-medal game tomorrow against the winner of USA/Switzerland.
Finland was held 1-for-7 on the power play and Canada, who had a bye yesterday while Finland played against Sweden, looked like the fresher team all game.
The U.S. is looking to make it back to the gold-medal game to take on Canada if it can defeat Switzerland. The U.S. is the three-time defending gold medal of the Word Championship winning in 2008-09 and 2011 (Canada won gold at the 2010 Olympics).
14TH ENTRY: 11:30 a.m. April 12
All teams get today off before a full day of action again on Friday including the semifinals matchups of Finland/Canada (2 p.m. CDT) and USA/Switzerland (6 p.m. CDT). Other games include Sweden vs. Russia in the fifth/sixth place game (4 p.m. CDT) and the second game of the relegation series between Germany and Slovakia (12 p.m. CDT).
After a day off yesterday team USA had a light practice this morning while many teams that played yesterday including Finland is getting the day off to recuperate.
Click here for an article by USAhockey.com on the "Stacksicles" line of Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Kelly Stack who are on a torrid scoring pace in the tournament. UND head coach Brian Idalski and associate head coach Peter Elander have been tracking their statistics during the games and have them averaging only 14 shifts a game. That means the "Stacksicles" line is averaging one goal out of just under every three times they are on the ice. Pretty remarkable. Their line is also outscoring every team in the tournament with the exception of Canada.
Also, one of the major concerns of international women's hockey is the idea of losing the sport at the Olympics. Since its inception the international games have pretty much seen three tiers in USA/Canada at the top, Sweden and Finland in the second tier and then everybody else.
Although the top-tier of USA and Canada still seems to be a step above the rest of the competition, one thing I have seen in these games is the competition leveling out between everybody else. Finland played Canada to a very close 3-2 game and then beat their long-time rival of Sweden 2-1 although being heavily out shot in the game.
In Group B play consisting of Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany and Sweden, their round-robin play concluded with six games being decided by a total of 10 goals including four one-goal and one two-goal games. Then Switzerland and Sweden advanced to the quarterfinals with Switzerland defeating Russia 5-2 and Sweden being edged by Finland 2-1.
Here is a great article on the current status of women's hockey, the NHL's interest of getting involved and quotes from Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA, as she helps consult both the NHL and the IIHF.
I am also hoping to get an opportunity to talk with IIHF manager of women's hockey Tanya Foley later this week to find out her thoughts on the status of the tournament in Burlington and women's hockey in general. Here is a profile feature on Foley and her thoughts on where women's hockey is and where it is headed.
Another UND side note from the tournament, Peter Elander was a special guest for the pregame, period intermissions and postgame wrap up during Swedish television broadcast of yesterday's Finland and Sweden game.
Although we have plenty of Redwings fans on staff with the women's hockey team who had a disappointing start to the NHL playoffs last night, I would like wish good luck to the Blackhawks who open their postseason play tonight.
13TH ENTRY: 9 p.m. April 11
The quarterfinals of the medal round were held today as Switzerland pulled off a slight shocker with a 5-2 win over Russia. Russia went 0-3 in Group A preliminary play and Switzerland went 2-1 in Group B, winning two one-goal games over Sweden and Slovakia while dropping a one-goal game to Germany.
Patty Kazmaier top-three finalist Florence Schelling was stellar stopping 30 of 32 shots and Switzerland's special teams came through with two power-play and one shorthanded goals.
With the win they earned a matchup with the U.S. in the semifinals on Friday who got today off with their bye to relax.
UND's Michelle Karvinen helped write the newest chapter in their long rivalry between Finland and Sweden. Finland jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, scoring on its first shot on goal only 21 seconds into the game and adding to its lead late in the opening frame. Karvinen picked up her fourth point of the tournament, all assists, on the second goal.
Sweden's Elin Holmlov broke Finland netminder Noora Raty's shutout bid at 13:04 of the third period on their 42nd shot to pull within one goal, but Finland would hold on for the win. Raty was Finland's player of the game making 43 saves.
Finland advances to the semifinals to take on Canada at 2 p.m. Friday. Click here to view Karvinen's postgame interview as she talks to reporters about playing Canada again, the win over Sweden and about playing at UND.
In the first game of a best-of-three relegation series, Germany upended Slovakia 2-1 in game winning shots (shootout). Tanja Eisenschmid led the Germans with five shots on goal and had a +1 plus/minus rating.
12TH ENTRY: 9 p.m. April 10
The U.S. saw little challenge in going 3-0 in preliminary play outscoring its opponents 29-2 along the way.
Here is what that line has done in three games:
The medal round gets underway tomorrow and the matchups are below in the last entry.
Both games should be very entertaining along with the first of the three-game relegation series as Susanne Fellner and Tanja Eisenschmid attempt to avoid dropping down a division.
The games at Cairns Arena, where the Group B games have been played, have been the more competitive games through the preliminary play.
Team U.S.A. is off now until Friday. Listen to Lamoureux-Kolls postgame interview here.
ELEVENTH ENTRY: 6:45 p.m. April 10
With only one game to go in the preliminary round, the medal round matchups are set as neither the U.S. or Finland can advance any higher or fall any lower with the result of their game tonight.
It will still be an exciting game to see if Michelle Karvinen can help lead Finland to an upset win over the U.S. and the Lamoureux twins. All three have already had great tournaments but will be looking for momentum heading into their next games.
I will have postgame interviews with all three after the game, but here is the medal round schedule:
April 11 - Quarterfinals
No. 4 Russia vs. No. 5 Switzerland/ 3 p.m.
No. 3 Finland vs. No. 6 Sweden/7 p.m.
April 13 - Semifinals
No. 2 Canada vs. Finland/Sweden/ 3 p.m.
No. 1 USA vs. Russia/Switzerland/ 7 p.m.
April 14 - Finals
Bronze-medal game/3 p.m.
Gold-medal game/7 p.m.
Relegation series will be between Germany and Slovakia in a best of three series played on April 11 (5 p.m.), 13 (1 p.m.) and 14 (1 p.m.) if necessary.TENTH ENTRY: 1 p.m. April 10
We are back underway as all teams will determine their entry spot in the medal round playing their final preliminary round games today.
Today's matchups are:
Canada (1-1) vs. Russia (0-0), 2 p.m.
USA (2-0) vs. Finland (1-1), 6 p.m.
Sweden (1-0-1-1) vs. Switzerland (1-1), 12 p.m.
Germany (1-0-1-0) vs. Slovakia (0-2), 4 p.m.
NINTH ENTRY: 8 p.m. April 9
Although it was a "day off" at the 2012 IIHF Women's World Championship in Burlington, Vt., it still proved to be a full day of hockey. All eight teams had ice times for an hour for practice somewhere between 10 a.m., starting with Germany, and ending around 4:30 p.m. with the U.S.
It was fun to be able to watch all of the different teams practice and see the different drills they run. They actually vary quite a bit but most teams, as probably would be expected, took their time to work on a few things, but went rather light with a lot of games remaining from now until Saturday.
Afterwards UND head coach Brian Idalski, former volunteer coach Max Markowitz and I got to meet up with Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Susanne Fellner for dinner. It was good to catch up with Fellner who is really doing well on and off the ice. Here is a photo of Fellner along with the Lamoureux twins.
I am going to try to catch back up with Fellner later in the week and get an interview with her and her German defenseman partner, Tanja Eisenschmid, who will be a freshman for the Fighting Sioux next year.
Games get back underway tomorrow as all teams wrap up preliminary play to set the final matchups for the medal round games.
EIGHTH ENTRY: 9:15 p.m. April 9
The U.S. cruised to its second straight route to open the tournament with a 9-0 win over Russia. The win secures a bye into the semifinals for the U.S. who out shot the Russians 55-5 in tonight's win.
Monique Lamoureux-Kolls added one goal and one assist tonight as she continues to lead the tournament in points (4-4-8) throught the first two games. Her goal tonight came shorthanded at 5:18 of the second period.
Jocelyne Lamoureux also found the back of the net for her third goal and fourth point in two games.
Click here for Lamoureux's post game interview as she talks about tonight's results, how they spent Easter and more.
SEVENTH ENTRY: 5 p.m. Alpril 9
Canada picked up its first win of the tournament in a close game against Finland. Canada held on for a 3-2 decision although outshooting Finland 43-15. Goaltender Noora Raty was named Finland's player of the game while Laura Fortino received the honor for Canada.
SIXTH ENTRY: 3:45 p.m. April 9
Sweden opened the second day with a 2-1 overtime win over Germany. Sweden led 1-0 late into the third period, but a stellar defensive effort by Germany and goaltender Jennifer Harss and its defensive crew including Susanne Fellner and Tanja Eisenschmid kept them in the game. Germany would score the equalizer with only 48 seconds remaining in regulation.
Sweden became the tournament's first 2-0 team with the game-winner only 24 seconds into extra time.
FIFTH ENTRY: 1 p.m. April 8
Happy Easter! It is the second day of the IIHF Women's World Championships in Vermont and we saw an exciting first day with the new format that led to intriguing matchups and results.
After the first day, all of the current countries with UND connections ended in the win column as USA (Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls), Finland (Michelle Karvinen), Germany (Tanja Eisenschmid and Susanne Fellner) and Sweden (Associate Head Coach Peter Elander) are all 1-0.
Today's action will consist of:
Sweden vs. Germany 1 p.m.
Canada vs. Finland 3 p.m.
Switzerland vs. Slovakia 5 p.m.
USA vs. Russia 7 p.m.
Here are some links for you for today from yesterday and follow UNDWHockey on twitter for updates as the games go on.
Click here for interview with Jocelyne Lamoureux after USA/Canada game.
Click here for IIHF.com USA/Canada game recap.
Click here for links to highlights from USA/Canada game.
Click here for atmosphere highlight video from USA/Canada game and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls receiving player of the game award.
Click here for USA live game blogs and other blog materials.
Also, team a nice article on Team USA visiting a children's hospital with a photo of Jocelyne and Monique.
FOURTH ENTRY: 10:20 p.m. April 7
In my first live experience of USA/Canada it turned into a very unexpected route. The game might not have lived up to the hype but with UND's Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Jocelyne Lamoureux combining for five goals and four assists and a sold-out arena of nearly 4,000 people made the experience memorable.
I am willing to bet if the two favorites meet again in the medal round, it will be a little closer than tonight ended up.
THIRD ENTRY: 7 p.m. April 7
About to get underway between U.S.A. and Canada. It is a sold out venue at Gutterson Field House.
SECOND ENTRY: 5:30 p.m. April 7
After the first game in both buildings, Sweden opened the tournament with a 5-1 victory over Slovakia and UND's Michelle Karvinen helped lead Finland to a 5-4 win over Russia.
Russia jumped out to an early lead scoring the game's first two goals and held the lead into the first intermission. Finland answered with a pair of goals in the second period to send it into the third stanza 2-2.
Finland would take its first lead at 10:24 of the third period and score the eventual game-winner only 41 seconds later.
Karvinen concluded the first game with one assist and a +1 plus/minus rating.
Click here to view interview with Karvinen.
FIRST ENTRY: 10:30 a.m. April 7
The 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Women's World Championship is getting underway today in Burlington, Vt., and FightingSioux.com will be bringing you plenty of coverage along the way.
It has already been plenty eventful as former volunteer coach "Hollywood" Max Markowitz and I made the trip to the host city yesterday and settled into our hotel.
We then met up with former UND assistant head coach and current Vermont associate head coach Grant Kimball who gave us a tour of the town and around campus. The city and university has done a tremendous job decorating for the event and making renovations to both rinks where the games will be played in Gutterson Field House (home of the Vermont Catamounts) and Cairns Arena (Saint Michael's College).
The top eight teams in the world will be competing for the championship and currently five players with UND connections in USA's Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (Grand Forks,N.D.), Finland's Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark), incoming freshman Tanja Eisenschmid (Kaufbeuren, Germany) and former defenseman Susanne Fellner (Fronhofer, Germany).
HOW THE TOURNAMENT WORKS
There is a new format this year to the tournament which leads to a very entertaining first day of action. The top four seeds in the tournament are placed into Group A and bottom four seeds into Group B. After a single round-robin series in each pool group, the four teams from group A and the two top teams from Group B advance to the playoff round while the third and fourth-placed team in Group B play a best-of-three relegation round series.
"The new format is going to allow for some really competitive games early in the tournament," Monique Lamoureux-Kolls said. "And it doesn't get any more competitive and exciting than opening up against Canada on ome soil."
The two top-seeded teams from Group A receive quarterfinal round byes, thus moving automatically to the semifinals.
This makes for opening-day matchups in Group A of:
No. 1 USA vs. No. 2 Canada
No. 3 Finland vs. No. 4 Russia
No. 5 Sweden vs. No. 7 Slovakia
No. 6 Switzerland vs. No 8 Germany
This will mark the 22nd meeting between the United States and Canada and they have never played on the opening day before. Click here for a good article on some notes of the series.
"Playing Canada on the opening day makes the first game that much more exciting and meaningful," Jocelyne Lamoureux said. "It's really going to set the momentum for the rest of the tournament and playing them in front of a home crowd in a packed building is going to be a great atmosphere for us to feed off of."
Check back on FightingSioux.com for more updates as the games get going!