LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - After struggling in the opening period in recent games, the U.S. Women's National Team broke through against Sweden with a four-goal first period on Tuesday to open the 2013 Four Nations Cup tonight.
"I love how our team played today," said head coach Katey Stone. "We just kept it simple, we played hard hockey, we played smart hockey."
Team USA launched 23 shots on goal in the first period and scored four times in a four-minute span. Even when the puck wasn't going in the net, it stayed in the Sweden end because of a relentless U.S. forecheck.
"A quick start is something that we've focused on in practice a lot. We've been working on hustling every single play," said Gigi Marvin, who scored in the first and third periods. "It's just a reminder of that you play how you practice."
Team USA didn't let up as the game went on and kept the pressure on Sweden goaltender Sara Grahn, who finished with 49 saves. The U.S. potted two goals in the second and four more in the third period.
"I think we are really enforcing our forecheck right now," said Alex Carpenter, who had a goal and an assist in the third period and three points overall in the game. "I think getting the first couple goals was a big boost of self-confidence for us."
Stone said she hopes to see the quick start become a trend as the tournament continues Wednesday against Canada.
"It's about consistent effort and hustle. I'm happy where our team is right now," she said.