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U.S. Women Rock In Hockey

Bengt Olsson called them "black minutes," but his Swedish women's ice hockey team could have colored them red, white and blue.

After giving up one goal on Sweden's first shot in the game, the U.S. women's team racked up four goals during eight minutes late in the second period on the way to a 7-1 victory Monday in at the Winter Olympics. It is now 2-0.

"We had some black minutes in the second period when they scored four goals," Olsson said. "In the last period, we made some mistakes, too many mistakes."

Sweden managed just three shots in the game, one each period.

Sweden's defense starred in the first, holding the United States scoreless for much of the period. Therese Sjoelander's power-play shot was deflected by Pia Morelius past U.S. goalie Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.I.) to make it 1-0 at 10:02.

"I wish we had the same shooting percentage Sweden had against us," U.S. coach Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) said. "It took us a while before we could solve some of the defensive problems they were throwing at us."

The United States tied it 6½ minutes later on an end-to-end rush, when Laurie Baker (Concord, Mass.) fired point-blank on Sweden goalie Annica Ahlen.

Ahlen and her defense shut down the U.S. offense until 12:39 of the second, when Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wis.) scored the first of her two goals 25 seconds into a two-player advantage.

The United States scored every two minutes after that to make it 5-1 at the end of the period. Katie King (Salem, N.H.) chipped in a rebound, while Merz and Bye both picked up mishandled pucks in the neutral zone and raced in to score.

Sweden again managed to tie up the United States through the third until Gretchen Ulion (Marlborough, Mass.) slipped through the crease to put another rebound past Ahlen. Shelley Looney (Trenton, Mich..) scored a shorthanded goal from the left circle after grabbing another loose puck.

Bye had a scary moment midway through the third while trying to stop a Swedish breakaway, sliding on her stomach face-first into the goalpost, knocking it from its moorings.

She skated with help to the bench and remained there for a few moments but returned to the game.

Defenseman Tara Mounsey (Concord, N.H), who came to Japan with a sprained knee but was cleared to play in the opening game Sunday, blocked a slapshot with her stomach in the first period and left the game. She returned in the second to earn an assist on Bye's first goal.

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