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Canada closes out round robin with 5-3 win over Sweden at Four Nations Cup

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Canada closes out round robin with 5-3 win over Sweden at Four Nations Cup

The Canadian Press
By:

LEKSAND, Sweden - Canada tuned up for the gold medal game at the Four Nations Cup on Saturday with a 5-3 victory over host Sweden.

Canada had already secured a spot in Sunday's championship game entering the round-robin finale. The defending champions will play the U.S. in a rematch of last year's final, after the Americans edged Finland 2-1.

All five Canadian goals came on the power play.

Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont., broke a 3-3 tie midway through the second period and Sarah Vaillancourt of Sherbrooke, Que., iced Canada's third straight victory with 30 seconds left in the third.

Sweden hung tough with excellent goaltending from Kim Martin, who stopped 49 of Canada's 54 shots.

"It really forced us to stay in the game and that's a good thing," said Canadian head coach Peter Smith. "It was much better than if it had been a blowout. I don't think that would have prepared us for the game tomorrow."

Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., opened the scoring just 74 seconds into the game. She also had three assists. Delaney Collins of Pilot Mound, Man., had one goal and two assists. Jennifer Botterill of Winnipeg had Canada's other goal.

Smith said Wickenheiser made sure her teammates kept the pressure on even though Canada had already qualified for the gold medal game.

"It was not an easy game to play," Smith said. "We took lots of penalties and it could have been very easy to get too emotional or lose our composure.

"I thought Hayley really showed great leadership in terms of keeping the team on task and focused."

Shannon Szabados of Edmonton made 21 saves.

Erin Holmlov, Pernilla Winberg and Danijela Rundqvist scored for Sweden, who will play Finland for the bronze medal Sunday.

Canada beat the U.S. in last year's championship game in Kitchener, Ont., for its fourth title in five years. Canada beat the U.S. 6-3 earlier in the week.

Smith said his players will be ready to take on their rivals for the gold.

"They'll be good to go," Smith said. "They're excited to play every game but certainly I think there is added incentive when they play against the U.S."

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Canada closes out round robin with 5-3 win over Sweden at Four Nations Cup