International Ice Hockey Federation

Sweden forced to relegation

Sweden forced to relegation

Russia wins, 4-0, finishes 1st in Group B

Published 05.04.2013 20:35 GMT-4 | Author Mark Staffieri
Sweden forced to relegation
Galina Skiba #55 celebrates with teammates after scoring Russia's second goal of the game. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Russia got goals from four players en route to a shocking 4-0 win over Sweden that puts the former in the quarter-finals and the latter in the relegation round.

Captain Yekaterina Smolentseva, Galina Skiba, Alexandra Vafina, and Yelena Dergachyova scored for the winners, who finish the preliminary roudn with a perfect 3-0-0 record.

The Swedes, with 13 players 22 or younger, won only one game and finish in last place and will now play a best-of-three series with  the Czech Republic. 

Although Sweden is scheduled to host the next Women's World Championship in 2015, there is no IIHF rule which prevents the team from being demoted this year.

Russia got the only goal of the first on the power play. With Erika Grahm serving a penalty for body contact, Anna Shibanova’s shot from the blue line was tipped in by Russian captain Yekaterina Smolentseva.

Sweden mustered only five shots in the period and was hampered by three penalties. It wasn’t until late that Damkronor started to apply some pressure on Nadezhda Alexandrova. Pernilla Winberg and Elin Holmlov both had scoring chances that the goalie stopped.

Russia added to its lead in the second. Veteran Galina Skiba’s booming slapshot bounced off the crossbar and in for the 2-0 advantage.

Although Sweden enjoyed a power play after the goal, the advantage was spoiled by a penalty to Sweden’s Lisa Johansson. With 45 seconds remaining in her penalty, Russia made it 3-0 on a goal from Alexandra Vafina.

Sara Grahn replaced Lizana in the Swedish crease late in the second. Despite the change, though, Sweden continued to struggle on offense. Pernilla Winberg had the best scoring chance of the period, but she failed to connect.

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With less than four minutes remaining in the game, Sweden went with six attackers, but the only goal came into the empty net by Yelena Dergachyova. 

And now Sweden, which had medal dreams at the start of the tournament, lost goalie Kim Martin before the first game and must now beat the Czechs to avoid the unthinkable, being relegated.


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