February 17, 2006

Sweden shock US in penalty shootout

TURIN (Reuters) - Sweden upset the United States in a
penalty shootout to win 3-2 and advance to the gold medal game
at the women's Olympic ice hockey tournament on Friday.

Maria Rooth and Erika Holst both scored in the shootout
while the Americans failed to find the back of the net after
the two teams skated to a 2-2 tie after regulation time and a
10-minute overtime period.

The loss comes as a major shock to the Americans, who had
never lost in Olympic play, except for the gold medal game in
Salt Lake City in 2002.

The U.S. won gold in Nagano in 1998, beating Canada, who
play Finland in the second semi-final later on Friday.

The U.S. jumped out to the lead on a power play goal by
Kristin King at 11:55 of the first period. Kelly Stephens
stretched the margin to 2-0 with another power play tally at
1:04 of the second, and the Americans appeared on their way to
a third consecutive Olympic final.

But Sweden roared back with a pair of second period goals
by Rooth, the second a shorthanded effort.

Both sides had a number of chances to end the game in a
sudden death overtime period, but both goalies stood their
ground to force the shootout.