The United States women’s hockey team will play for its second Olympic gold medal after shutting out Finland 5-0 in the semifinals on Sunday evening. Four combined goals in the first two periods put the game away for Team USA in the opening 40 minutes of the game after coming out strong.
Hilary Knight got her first goal of the tournament, and the team added three goals on the power play to cap off a solid victory. The game comes after Team USA’s tough 2-1 defeat against Canada in the final preliminary match of the tournament.
Finland goaltender Noora Raty made 33 saves as the United States outshot its opponents 38-14 through the 60-minute match. Maddie Rooney got the shutout for Team USA.
Gigi Marvin and the United States struck first within the opening moments of the game. Just 2:25 seconds into the game, Marvin got Team USA on the board with its first goal of the match. An American forecheck in the Finland zone was enough to cause pressure as Meghan Duggan’s pass to Marvin went unblocked to the front of the net. Marvin then wasted no time in putting the puck top shelf for the 1-0 score.
While the Americans were able to go up 1-0 early, they had to survive two Finland power plays in the period that kept their opponents closer to making a comeback than they would have liked.
Thankfully, Team USA kept applying pressure and eventually the dam broke. A costly turnover burned Finland with 1:22 left in the first period. Dani Cameranesi was the recipient of a bad Finnish pass, and the forward sniped the top corner above Raty to double the Americans’ score.
Dani Cameranesi makes it 2-0 United States. pic.twitter.com/UkwjUdrC4y— Mason Gallina (@mason_gallina13) February 19, 2018
Jocelyne Lamoureux got the next goal for Team USA 13 minutes into the second period. A pair of penalties for Finland put the team on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. With seconds left in the first penalty, Lamoureux shot a hard one-timer high over Raty to extend the lead to 3-0 after furious American pressure on the power play.
Then 34 seconds later, Knight added Team USA’s fourth goal of the night on the tail end of the power play. Knight’s first goal of the tournament was a stellar deflection that bested Raty past the pads before she could flex out to save it.
At the start of the third period, Cameranesi extended Team USA’s lead to 5-0 on a power play, the team’s third of the game. The 22-year-old forward was wide open in the slot with the advantage, and she went high glove side on Raty to open the scoring in the third period for Team USA.
A total of four different goal scorers helped Team USA net five goals in the offensive outburst.
The United States will have to wait for the winner of the Canada vs. Russian team Olympic semifinal to see who it’ll face for the gold, but we will likely have a rematch against Canada in the cards. The gold medal match will be on Wednesday night at 11:10 p.m. ET on NBCSN.