Canada beats Sweden 6-1, books place in women's under-18 final

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FUSSEN, Germany - Canada booked a place in the final of the women's world under-18 hockey championship for the second year in a row by beating Sweden 6-1 in the semifinals Friday.

Melodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., had a hat trick and added an assist to lead the way for Canada.

After a scoreless first period, the Swedes opened the scoring six minutes into the second when Erika Grahm beat Canadian goalie Cassie Seguin of Ingleside, Ont., for a 1-0 lead.

It was the first time Canada trailed in the competition, having outscored opponents 35-1 in three preliminary-round games.

The lead was short-lived as Canada equalized on the very next shift with Laurie Kingsbury of Valleyfield, Que., beating Sweden's Josephin Lennstrom.

After three dominating performances, Canada head coach Stephanie White said she was glad her team faced some adversity heading into the Saturday's final.

``That was important for us. I think it was that little boost that we needed and then from there we just got stronger and stronger as the game went on,'' White said in telephone interview.

Daoust scored her first of the game four minutes later to give Canada the lead and added another before the period was out to send the teams to the dressing rooms with a 3-1 lead.

Sweden came out hard to start the third period but Ottawa's Jamie Lee Rattray scored at the three minute mark to effectively seal the Canadian victory.

Daoust added her third at the midway point of third and Brittany Phillips of Lauder, Man., scored late to round out complete the 6-1 win.

Rattray said falling behind in a game will give Canada a boost going into the final.

``The whole team got together and we got a goal, and we got the next goal and just kept going,'' said Rattray. ``So it was good to see some adversity. It helped our team so I thought we turned it around really well.''

Last year's tournament was played in Calgary with the U.S. beating Canada 5-2 in the gold-medal game.

In Friday's game, Seguin made 21 saves in the win, while Lennstrom stopped 24 pucks in defeat.

In other action Friday, the host Germans beat Switzerland 2-1 in the consolation round.

Canada awaits the winner of the other semifinal between the U.S. and the Czech Republic.


David Perron

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