World Cup Consolation: (5) Sweden Dodges (9) New Zealand, 94-66
TORONTO, ON -- Sweden faced off against New Zealand in the day's penultimate game as favourites, having ranked fifth to New Zealand's ninth in the opening round. They edged a tight first half before pulling away in the second to win one of the lowest-scoring games of the tournament so far, 94-66.
Mad Malooney started with the star for Sweden as her pack took a knee to get the bout started, but it was New Zealand's Evel K'neevil who got the game's first lead jam call. The frame then turned into a powerjam when Malooney was boxed completing her initial pass, and Evel racked up 9.
Axl Slash R then lined up against Ankefar, and it was then Sweden's turn for a powerjam. Unfortunately for them, they failed to take advantage of it as Ankefar found herself on her way back to the box after getting 4 points. Good defense at the back and then the front from Swede Hurt kept Axl down to 4 points in her own part of the powerjam, leaving the scores at 13-4.
A run of lead jam calls for Ankefar and Fenix pulled the game back to 17-16 with ten minutes left in the period as New Zealand's penalties started to mount. A 4-2 pack gave Malooney a quick lead jam call, but when Miss Metal Militia was boxed, even tight defence from New Zealand's Lawless Mess couldn't stop Malooney from scoring 20 and pushing Sweden into a 36-17 lead.
3 for Ankefar edged Sweden further ahead, but she received a low block major call between jams to let Fia Fasi Oe? start unopposed. A combination of good offense and smart jamming cut into the Swedish lead, leaving the score at 39-27 with six minutes left in the half. Malooney then handed New Zealand another powerjam when she was boxed on a major cut. 9 points for Miss Metal Militia pulled the game back to 39-36, and a 3-2 jam for Axl narrowed the gap further.
Two jams later Fia Fasi Oe? took lead and stole 3 points to put New Zealand in the lead, but the lead lasted mere seconds as Malooney put 4 on the board for Sweden to leave the score 45-42 Sweden at the half.
Evel K-Neevil got lead straight out of the gate in the second half, but Malooney picked up 3 points at the back to keep Sweden's noses in front, 48-46. Axl Slasher then struggled with the Swedish pack as Knickerblocker Glory busted through for lead in her first jam, but was floored by a huge can opener from Skate The Muss as she called it having picked up 4.
Several tight jams saw the lead hover between 5 and 10 points for the next five jams, but when Fia Fasi Oe? was boxed with ten minutes to go in the half Malooney took Sweden to a 67-53 lead. Ankefar then stretched the Swedish lead to 71-53. Axl Slasher was then boxed on a major forearm, letting Fenix score 10 -- but the damage could have been much worse but for some very smart hitting by Lawless Mess and the rest of the New Zealand pack.
With five minutes to go Miss Metal Militia got New Zealand's first lead jam call for quite some time, which she exploited for a quick 9-0 to narrow the gap to 81-62 with a little over three minutes left. Ankefar then notched up a 4-0 as Fia Fasi Oe? got caught behind Sweden's rear four-wall. A 4-4 jam did nothing for New Zealand's chances as it left the score 89-66 going into the final jam.
A lead jam call for Fenix seemed to seal the game, and any doubt was removed as Axl was boxed for a major forearm. Fenix was then boxed herself with 40 seconds left on the jam clock, but there wasn't nearly enough time for Axl to make up the difference as she got stuck behind the solid Swedish defence. Fenix emerged from the box with seconds left, and picked up a final handful of points before the whistles. The game ended with Sweden 94-66 winners.
Sweden will face Finland for 5th place at 12:30pm Eastern; New Zealand goes up against France at 1pm for 7th place.