• Sweden's news in English
 

Sweden struggle to climb women's hockey ladder

Published: 19 Feb 2014 09:03 GMT+01:00

Women's hockey is evolving in countries like Switzerland and Japan but for others like Sweden it is a case of one step forward, two steps back.

Sweden won the silver medal in the 2006 Turin Games after eliminating the US but in the Olympics semi-finals on Monday they were clobbered 6-1 by the Americans who outshot them by a whopping 70-9.

The lopsided contest renewed questions about the legitimacy of women's hockey in the Olympics where blowouts have become common like Canada's 18-0 win over Slovakia in the 2010 Vancouver Games.

"It was too big a challenge for us to beat the US," said Swedish assistant coach Leif Boork. "They showed they are one of the best teams in the world."

Sweden only has three players back from that silver medal winning team.

"We started to work on that improvement after 2006 when our older generation finished playing. Since then we've had a generation shift," he said.

Boork said the problem is many women are forced to give up the game when they get older because unlike the players in the men's tournament they are not professionals.

The United States were heavily favoured to reach Thursday's women's final as they have 65,700 registered female players in the country compared to just over 3,000 for the Swedes.

Canada, the other finalist, has 87,000 players while Switzerland have just 908.

Canada and the US have been mainstays at the top of international women's hockey ladder ever since the sport was included in the Winter Games in 1998 in Nagano.

Canada has won the last three Olympic gold medals while the Americans have won four of the last five Women's World Championships, but they're hungry to end that Olympic drought.

"Of course it can be a problem for the rest of the world that they are so powerful. I think we should try to look up to them and try to improve our game," Boork said.

The International Ice Hockey Federation president, Rene Fasel, said Tuesday that women's hockey is not in danger of being dropped from the Winter Olympics.

"That will never happen," Fasel said. "I can guarantee that will never happen."

Canada's Carla MacLeod says Canada and the US have a responsibility to help those emerging nations get better by running hockey clinics and schools and loaning them coaches.

MacLeod is doing her part by working with the Japan women's team as an assistant coach.

Japan failed to qualify for the Vancouver Games so they went looking for a female coach to help them improve.

"I was instantly excited. It took me half a second to say yes," MacLeod said.

Japan is not the only women's team that showed some progress in the Sochi tournament.

Switzerland lost by just two goals (3-1) to Canada in the other semi-final on Monday.

"They didn't think that little Switzerland can play hockey but we showed them," said Lara Stalder, who is one of the few non-North American players in the tournament to play for a US college women's team.

US coach Katey Stone said the growth of women's hockey in the US colleges is helping the game improve internationally.

"The best players on all these teams are playing in the US college programmes. We have done a heck of a job to not only develop American players but Canadians, Finnish kids and some Russians," she said.
 

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish Astrid Lindgren prize for African group
Books used by the winning PRAESA group. Photo: TT

Swedish Astrid Lindgren prize for African group

An association that promotes reading among children has become the first African group to win the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest prize for children's and young people's literature. READ  

Opinion
Swedish firms must learn from Saudi business row
A Swedish workplace. Photo: Suzanne Walström/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish firms must learn from Saudi business row

Swedish companies worried about the nation's business links with the Arab world should instead be focussing on their own responsibility to promote and demonstrate ethical behaviour, argues business rights advisor Ruben Brunsveld. READ  

Canadian star sought for Sweden hockey attack
André Deveaux (left), Jens Hellgren and Mike Vernace celebrate a 0-2 win over Västerås on Sunday. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

Canadian star sought for Sweden hockey attack

A Swedish prosecutor has ordered the arrest of Canadian ice hockey player André Deveaux after he was caught on video violently slashing an opponent in a pre-game warm-up for his club side in Ängelholm. READ  

US spy agency to feature in Stieg Larsson sequel
The actors playing Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the original Swedish movies based on the books. Photo. TT

US spy agency to feature in Stieg Larsson sequel

The sequel to Swedish author Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millenium crime trilogy, due for release in August, kicks off with an artificial intelligence intrigue involving a US spy agency, the book's publishers have revealed. READ  

Swedes rescue Syrian refugee's cat in Sicily
Mela the cat arrived in Sweden on Saturday. Photo: Minna Lind

Swedes rescue Syrian refugee's cat in Sicily

A Syrian refugee will be granted her wish this Easter after staff at a Swedish animal shelter rescued her long lost cat from quarantine in Sicily. READ  

Profit concerns push Swedish schools abroad
Pupils at the English School in Täby, one of several hugely popular schools run by Internationella Engelska Skolan. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Profit concerns push Swedish schools abroad

Sweden’s publicly funded free school model has attracted huge interest in the UK and elsewhere, but with profits in the schools sector under scrutiny from regulators the biggest firms are now expanding overseas. READ  

Sweden unemployment stable as EU reports dip
Immigrants, scour a newspaper's job pages.Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden unemployment stable as EU reports dip

The EU has recorded the lowest jobless rate across the 28 nation bloc since 2012, with unemployment in Sweden remaining largely stable over the last three months. READ  

Jay Z rebrands Nordic streaming service
Jay Z launching the service. Photo: Brad Barket/TT

Jay Z rebrands Nordic streaming service

Rap mogul Jay Z launched a rebranded music streaming service on Monday with major star backing, after buying the Scandinavian sites Tidal and Wimp and their parent company Aspiro earlier this month. READ  

Beaver bites bus passenger in Sweden
Not the beaver in question. Photo: Daniel Rose/Shutterstock

Beaver bites bus passenger in Sweden

A man who was bitten by a beaver at a bus stop in Tyresö, south of Stockholm, has been describing the snappy attack. READ  

UN has 'great interest in Sweden' says PM
Sweden's PM Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

UN has 'great interest in Sweden' says PM

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has told reporters in New York that the United Nations appears highly interested in his country, as he lobbies to get the Nordic nation a seat on the UN Security Council. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
Was Swedish TV host too harsh on nationalist leader Åkesson?
National
Travelling over Easter? Don't miss our guide to rail disruption
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
Scandinavian airlines change cockpit rules after Greenwings crash
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Politics
Why petrol prices are going up
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
What's on in Sweden: March 26th - April 2nd
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,428
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se