USA Men, Women Win

From USA Hockey on Thursday’s victories by the American men 6-1 over Norway and the U.S. women 6-0 over Finland in the 2010 Winter Olympics:

Vancouver, British Columbia — Brian Rafalski (Dearborn, Mich.) scored two goals in
the third period as the US men’s ice hockey team posted a 6-1 victory
over Norway Thursday afternoon at Canada Hockey Place.

The Americans outshot the Norwegians by a 39-11 margin and never
trailed. Rafalski received scoring help from Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh,
Pa.), Chris Drury (Trumbull, Conn.), Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis.) and
Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.). Zach Parise (Prior Lake, MInn.) and Joe
Pavelski (Plover, Wis.) each picked up two assists.

The Americans are now 2-0 and sit alone atop Group A pending the outcome
of this evening’s match between Switzerland and Canada. The US side
returns to the ice Sunday, Feb. 21, for a 4:40 p.m. PST match against
the home-standing Canada team.

Jamie Lagenbrunner (USA) Hockey

On NHL New Jersey Devils teammate Zach Parise "Zach and I play together
a lot but who knows where we’ll be by Sunday.  I don’t have to think too
much about where he is.  I’ve got a pretty good idea of where he is all
the time

"He plays hard he plays smart."

On leading such a young team
"It’s been fun so far. They may be young but they’re pretty
accomplished. They know how to play the game and they’ve been doing
pretty well here so far. We obviously know we’ve got to get better. We
haven’t played our best but that’s a good thing.  You’re going to see a
different level game on Sunday."

Are you worried at all on your offense and Canada scoring 8 goals in
their opening game?
"It’s nice to get some in at the end. We missed some opportunities.
Those things come and go.

"I don’t know if we judge ourselves on them getting eight goals or not.
They got a win the first game and we got a win. The important thing is
to get the win and move forward."

On coach changing the line during the third period "Nope.  He didn’t say
anything he just did it."

US Women 6, Finland 0

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team scored three first-period goals in less than four minutes en route to a 6-0 victory against Finland here this afternoon in its third and final preliminary-round game of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Team USA will face Sweden in the semifinal round Monday (Feb. 22) at 12 p.m. PST.

Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) set a U.S. record for points in a single Olympic Winter Games, scoring once and adding two assists to boost her tournament point total to 11 (4-7). Meanwhile, Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) logged her second consecutive shutout, turning aside 23 shots in the win.

"It was a very competitive game," said Mark Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team. "We were able to gain some momentum early on after Finland came out hard and tested Jessie Vetter in several situations. It was a good game for us and will definitely help us in preparing to face Sweden in the semifinals on Monday."

Julie Chu (Fairfield, Conn.) got Team USA on the board eight minutes into the opening frame with a redirection off of an Angela Ruggiero (Simi Valley, Calif.) slap shot that slipped between the pads of Finnish goalie Noora Raty. The U.S. doubled its lead midway through the period on the power play when Molly Engstrom‘s (Siren, Wis.) slap shot hit a Finland defender in front of the net and trickled into the goal.