Swedes start strong in women’s hockey

The river of gold in women’s hockey is said to run through North America, but don’t tell that to the girls from Sweden.

Erica Uden Johansson had one goal and one assist, while goaltender Kim Martin stopped all 16 shots she faced on Saturday, as the Swedes began their Olympic campaign with a dominant 3-0  victory over Switzerland at the UBC Thunderbird Arena.

It was the second career Olympic shutout for Martin, who wasn’t particularly busy, but  needed to make several difficult saves while the Swedes were short-handed.

Sweden’s penalty kill was key on Saturday, as they denied Switzerland on all seven of its extra-man opportunities.

Danijela Rundqvist and Tina Enstrom also scored for the defending silver medallists, who outshot Switzerland  34-16.

Despite taking the loss, netminder Florence Schelling was solid for Switzerland, stopping 31 shots.

Both teams play again on Monday, when Switzerland faces Canada, and Sweden plays Slovakia.