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From Christy Jeffries, USA Hockey 

Team USA Advances to Tomorrow’s Championship Game Against Canada
 
LEKSAND, Sweden The U.S. Women’s Select Team posted a 2-1 victory over Finland in the third and final round-robin game for both teams at the 2007 Women’s Four Nations Cup here today at Ejendals Arena. With a 2-0-0-1 record, Team USA finished second in the round-robin standings and will now face Canada for the tournament championship tomorrow evening (Nov. 11) at 5 p.m. (11 a.m. EST).

Team USA jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, before Finland came back to tie it early in the second frame. The United States scored late in the middle stanza to take a 2-1 lead that held throughout the remainder of the game.

“I thought we played with a lot of energy and worked hard,” said Jackie Barto, head coach of Team USA. “Offensively, we made some adjustments and had a lot of opportunities. Going into tomorrow’s game against Canada, we need to make sure we are committed to the defensive zone and do all of the little things well.”

The first goal of the game came at the 11:03 mark of the opening frame. Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.) passed the puck from the left boards out to Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) at the top of the slot. Resor took a low wrist shot that was tipped high into the net by Sarah Parsons (Dover, Mass.). The 1-0 U.S. lead held through the remainder of the period, while Team USA out shot Finland by a 18-8 margin.

Although Team USA again held a significant shots advantage in the second frame (13-3), the teams traded goals for a 2-1 score after 40 minutes. Finland notched its first goal of the game, a power-play marker to knot the game at 1-1, at 3:37 when Saara Tuominen skated toward U.S. netminder Megan Van Beusekom (Loretto, Minn.) through the left faceoff circle and lifted the puck to the far-side corner.

The United States regained the lead for good before the period was done, as Potter carried the puck up the right side and sent a centering pass to Karen Thatcher (Douglas, Mass.), who tipped it in from the left post at 17:55.

With neither team scoring in the final frame, Team USA came out the 2-1 winner.

Van Beusekom made 13 stops in net for the United States, while Maija Hassinen saved 38 shots for Finland.

NOTES: Julie Chu was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Finland was 1-for-3 with the man advantage … Team USA out shot Finland by a 40-14 margin … The United States has finished either first or second in each of the 10 years it has competed in the Women’s Four Nations Cup (Three Nations Cup from 1996-99), including second-place finishes the last three years … Joining Jackie Barto on the coaching staff as assistant coaches are Paul Flanagan, head women’s ice hockey coach at St. Lawrence University, and Kevin Houle, head women’s ice hockey coach at SUNY Plattsburgh … Four other USA Hockey teams are seeing international action this week, including the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams, the U.S. Men’s Select Team and the U.S. Junior Select Team. For more information, visit usahockey.com.

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring By Period
USA 1 1 0 — 2
FIN 0 1 0 — 1

First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Parsons (Resor, Potter), 11:03. Penalties: USA, Resor (interference), 2:45; FIN, Pelttari (body-checking), 7:34; FIN, Hiirikoski (hooking), 13:02.

Second Period – Scoring: 2, FIN, Tuominen (unassisted), 3:37 (pp); 3, USA, Thatcher (Potter), 17:55. Penalties: USA, Zaugg (hooking), 3:00; USA, Marvin (interference), 5:18; FIN, Tuominen (tripping), 14:20; FIN, Mertanen (roughing), 18:48; USA, McKenzie (roughing), 18:48.

Third Period – Scoring: None. Penalties: FIN, Pehkonen (clipping), 5:03; FIN, Tuominen (interference), 9:32.

Shots by Period  1 2 3 Total
USA   18 13 9 40
FIN   8 3 3 14
           
Goaltenders (SH/SV)   1 2 3 Total
USA, Van Beusekom, 60:00   8-8 3-2 3-3 14-13
FIN, Hassinen, 59:15   18-17 13-12 9-9 40-38

Power Play: USA 0-5; FIN 1-3
Penalties: USA 4-8; FIN 6-12
Officials: Referee – Arina Ustinova; Linesmen – Malin Axelsson, Therese Bjorkman

Team USA 2007 Women’s Four Nations Cup Schedule & Results
November 7-11 Leksand, Sweden Ejendals Arena

Date Opponent Time (Local/EST)
Wed., Nov. 7   Sweden         W, 4-0
Thurs., Nov. 8 Canada          L, 3-6
Sat., Nov. 10   Finland           W, 2-1
Sun., Nov. 11  Bronze-Medal Game 1p.m./7 a.m.
                       Gold-Medal Game 5 p.m./11 a.m.