Previously published in Sentinel on April 13, 2005
Wisconsin defenders, Molly Enstrom and Carla Macleod met in the championship game of the 2005 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship, April 9, in Linkoping, Sweden, but on opposite sides of the puck.
A native of Siren, Engstrom wore the USA jersey and compete3d in the country’s first-ever world championship title. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Macleod skated in her first world championship.
When the dust cleared, Molly’s mother Judy wrote to The Sentinel, “We are world champions, and Molly had a great tournament.”
In the long history of the IIHF event, for the first time the two long time rivals met with gold on the line.
The U.S. women won their first gold medal with a 1-0 win over Canada in the final game.
The teams skated through 80 scoreless minutes and the tournament’s top goaltender, Canada Gunn of Huntington Beach, CA turned away 26 shots before a shootout decided the final outcome.
Natalie Darwitz of th U. of M., Krissy Wendell of the U. of M. and Angela Ruggiero of Harper Woods, MI scored in the shootout and Gunn stopped the Canadian shooters.
Canada has won the previous eight contests. The record is currently held by the Soviet Union’s men’s national team.
Engstrom and Team USA was undefeated heading into the championship game with a 4-0-0 record.
Engstrom tallied a power-play goal against Sweden and an assist in an 8-2 win over China. Macleod and the Canadian defense were perfect through four games shutting out its opponents 38-0.
Macleod had added to the offense with a power-play goal against Sweden and assists against Sweden and Russia.
The championship game was played at the Cloetta Center.
The eight-team round robin tournament began April 2 and featured competition between teams from Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden and USA.
In the opener, USA defeated China, 8-2. Wendell and Darwitz had a hand in that game by each scoring a goal and Wendell was named player of that game.
Engstrom and Wendell assisted Sarah Parsons of Dover, MS on the final foal of the game.
In the second contest the US. Beat Germany 7-0.
They defeated Finland 8-1 to set up the game with Sweden.
Team USA scored four unanswered goals to win the contest, with Engstrom scoring from the Swedish blue line for a 3-1 lead in the second period.
“Molly scored her first World Tournament goal with what has become one of her signature shots from the blue line and it had plenty of net,” said her mother.
“She was ecstatic, with her arms straight up in the air and a smile from ear-to-ear,” said Judy Engstrom.
“She had four assists last year and got two this year, but this was her first goal,” Judy Engstrom said.
Engstrom, who just completed her season with the Badgers, had her parents Judy and Rick on hand along with Jack Neurer and his wife from Webster.
“Jack is a devoted fan of Molly’s as she got started in the program and he was instrumental in developing, nurturing and coaching for many years,” said Judy Engstrom.
“He did not coach her but he’s been keeping track of her ever since he saw her in the first state tournament when she was a mite,” said Judy Engstrom.
After the tournament the Engstrom’s traveled to Karlskrona, Sweden to look up relatives.
Molly’s great-great grandfather and Rick Engstrom’s grandfather came from Karlskrona.
Engstrom told The Sentinel earlier that playing on this team will give her a chance to make the U.S. Olympic squad next year.
Being in the Olympics is a life-long dream of the Siren, Wisconsin girl who has seen all of her dreams come true so far.