Team USA women's hockey crushes Finland, will play for gold at 2018 Olympics
The Americans dominated Finland with a 5-0 win in the Olympic semifinal round
The United States women's ice hockey team is heading back to the gold medal game for the third straight Winter Olympics.Team USA locked up a spot in that championship game with a 5-0 win against Finland on Sunday night. The Americans were a bit undisciplined early on in the semifinal, but they were able to overcome that and largely dominated Finland from the jump. The Americans led for about 58 of 60 minutes and outshot the Finns 38-14.
Finland's star goalie Noora Raty did her best to keep the United States at bay, but the Americans kept the pressure coming and there was only so much she could do to stop the bleeding. It was Gigi Marvin who opened the scoring 2:25 into the first period when she was left wide open and fired a one-timer past Raty. Marvin's goal was set up by USA captain Meghan Duggan and made it 2-0.
Later in the opening period, Duggan had an ugly knee-on-knee collision with Finland's Ronja Savolainen that resulted in Savolainen going into the boards head-first. The Finnish defenseman had to be carried off the ice by teammates but would later return to the game.
Inside the final few minutes of the first period, the Americans were able to double their lead thanks to a goal from Dani Cameranesi. A turnover from Finland gifted the opportunity to Cameranesi and she capitalized with a great shot.
The U.S. really broke the game open with the help of their power play, which accounted for the Americans' third, fourth and fifth goals. Jocelyne Lamoureux got the special teams party started when she scored in the final seconds of a 5-on-3 in the second period. Then, on the ensuing 5-on-4, Hilary Knight scored her first goal of the Olympics with a nice redirect in front to make it 4-0. Those two goals in the second period were separated by just 34 seconds.
Cameranesi got her second goal of the night just 45 seconds into the third period. Amanda Kessel got the power play helper.
With the victory, the United States will move on to the gold medal game, where it will face either Canada or Olympic Athletes from Russia. If it's Canada that moves on, this will be the third consecutive Olympics in which the U.S. and Canada have met in the championship game of the tournament. Canada has won the previous two and also beat the Americans in their preliminary round matchup, though it was an intense game that could have easily went the other way.
In any case, the women of Team USA will have a great shot at Olympic redemption when they take the ice for the final time in Pyeongchang on Wednesday night.
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