Junior Amanda Kessel tallied two assists in the U.S. Women's National Team's 4-0 win over Sweden in the opening game of the 2012 Four Nations Cup, which is being held in Vantaa & Kerava, Finland.
It took under two minutes for the defending Four Nations Cup Champions to get on the board as Kessel connected with former Ohio State defenseman Lisa Chesson, who wristed a shot past the Swedish goaltender's stick hand. Chesson's goal would be the difference at the end of the first period.
In the second period, the USWNT tacked on two more goals late in the period. North Dakota's Monique Lamoureaux notched the first one by pounding the puck in at the face of the goal. Kelli Stack, who assisted M. Lamoureaux on her goal, scored the second by slapping in a shot from the stick side of the goalie. Jocelyne Lamoureaux was credited with the assist on Stack's goal.
The Americans capped off their scoring in the third period when Kessel and Gopher alum Sarah Erickson assisted last year's Patty Kazmaier Award winning Brianna Decker, who is a senior at Wisconsin.
The United States, who is ranked second in the IIHF World Rankings, dominated play the whole game as they only allowed nine shots on goal in the contest. On the contrary, they pounded the Swede's net with 93 shots, 47 of which were on frame.
Gopher freshman Milica McMillen, who made her second-ever appearance with the USWNT, had the most on-ice time for the United States and also posted the team's best plus/minus ratio of +3. Kessel, Erickson and senior captain Megan Bozek each recorded a +2 rating while former Gopher Anne Schleper was not on the ice for any of the American goals.
Bozek and Schleper were tied for second on the team in shots with 10. Six of Bozek's shots were on target while Schleper had five on goal.
The Red, White and Blue return to action tomorrow as they face rival and the world's top-ranked team Canada. The USWNT has an all-time record of 9-23-1 against the Canadians in the Four Nations Cup.