Canada head to the Semifinals, Sweden holds on to beat Czechia

By: Benedict Chen

Team Canada gathers in front of (and on) the net before the game (Photo by Benedict Chen)

MADISON, Wis— Team Canada bounced back from their loss to the US by trouncing Slovakia in the Quarterfinals.

Just before the game, Jade Iginla, who was thought to be out for the entire tournament after suffering an upper-body injury in a pre-tournament game against the United States, was added to the lineup.

Madison Chantler got Canada on the board early as she was able to knock down a shot from Sarah MacEachern and put the puck into the back of the Slovak net only fifty-two seconds into the first period.

Less than nine minutes later, Mckenna Van Gelder fired a rocket past Slovak goaltender Livia Debnarova to make it 2-0 Canada and earn her first goal of the tournament.

Debnarova made some goods saves for Slovakia as Canada dominated in the offensive zone and built the shot count up to 25-1.

Five minutes and twenty-eight seconds into the second period, Alyssa Regalado got in front of the net, deked Debnarova, and scored to put Canada up by three.

Alyssa Regalado scores to put Canada up by three (Photo by Benedict Chen)

Alternate captain Karel Prefontaine scored her first goal of the tournament after picking up a pass from Ava Murphy in front of the net and made it 4-0 Canada with nine minutes and thirty-five seconds left in the second.

After captain Brooke Disher drew a penalty, she backhanded the puck over the shoulder of Debnarova and into the net. A goal was called on the ice, but Slovakia decided to challenge and after lengthy review, it was deemed that she did not score due to goaltender interference by Karel Prefontaine.

Brooke Disher nets one that later gets deemed no-goal (Photo by Benedict Chen)

Early in the third period, Ava Murphy picked up her own rebound to score and got her first goal of the tournament. Jordan Baxter got her first as well with seven minutes and thirty-five seconds left.

Emmalee Pais would cap it off for Canada on a rebound off the left pad of Livia Debnarova.

Canada shutout Slovakia 7-0 and outshot them 65-5. Canadian goaltender Mari Pietersen made all five saves against Slovakia and Livia Debnarova recorded fifty-eight.

Player of the game honors were given to Livia Debnarova for Slovakia and Sarah Swiderski for Canada.

Sweden and Czechia in pregame warmups (Photo by Benedict Chen)

Sweden fought hard against Czechia to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2018.

In the first period, Tereza Plosova scored on a puck poked from the side of the crease by Adela Sapovalivova to put Czechia on the board first.

However, Sweden would answer back. Against a what seemed to be dialed in Michaela Hesova, Swedish captain Nicole Hall went on the breakaway and made a quick shot past the Czech goaltender to tie it up with less than a minute left.

Both teams would battle back-and-forth in their respective zones and draw a couple penalties against each other, but only the Swedes were able to capitalize on one after the first two goals.

In the second period, Czechia ran into trouble as two of their players were sent to the penalty box. With a five-on-three power play, Sweden’s Jenna Raunio fired a shot off the left post of Michaela Hesova to give Sweden the lead.

Jenna Raunio scores to give Sweden the lead (Photo by Benedict Chen)

From then on, the Czechs would not score. Michaela Hesova was strong in the net, but even though they had several chances, Czechia squandered multiple power plays and were unable to overcome the Swedish defense and Lisa Jonsson.

Michaela Hesova goes into a split to make the save (Photo by Benedict Chen)

Despite pulling their goalie and bringing in an extra attacker with two minutes left, Czechia would end up losing to Sweden 2-1.

Shots on goal had favored Czechia 31-27. Lisa Jonsson recorded 31 saves for Sweden and Michaela Hesova recorded 25 for Czechia. Dominika Malicka received player of the game honors for Czechia and Lisa Jonsson received them for Sweden.