USA Women Reach Finals

     This from USA Hockey on Monday’s women’s hockey semifinal victory over Sweden:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The U.S. defeated Sweden 9-1 Monday afternoon in the semifinal round of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With the win, the Americans advance to the gold-medal game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) scored three goals, including a pair of third-period tallies. Meanwhile, nine Team USA members logged multiple points in the victory.

"We’ve been working for a number of years to be in this position," said Mark Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team. "We’re very excited about the opportunity to play in the gold-medal game. It’s been a long journey."

Monique Lamoureux gave Team USA a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the contest. Following a point-blank save by U.S. goaltender Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.), forward Hilary Knight (Hanover, N.H.) fed a streaking Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.) up the right boards. The four-time Olympian snapped a cross-ice pass to Monique Lamoureux, who drove to the front of the net and slid the puck under Swedish goalie Kim Martin.

Team USA doubled its lead just one minute later on the power play. During a goalmouth scramble, Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) collected the loose puck and lifted a shot over a sprawled Martin to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead after one period.

Angela Ruggiero (Simi Valley, Calif.), in her 250th game representing the U.S., potted her third goal of the tournament three minutes into the middle frame, taking a Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) pass at the right circle and beating Martin high to the glove side. Caitlin Cahow’s (Branford, Conn.) long wrist shot less than two minutes later also snuck past the Swedish netminder’s glove, extending Team USA’s lead to 4-0.

Sweden got on the board with a power-play goal midway through the second period. But Team USA responded, as Karen Thatcher’s (Blaine, Wash.) rebound goal off of a Jocelyne Lamoureux shot gave her team a 5-1 lead heading into the final frame.

The U.S. pushed its advantage to 7-1 in the third period with a pair of goals just 76 seconds apart. Monique Lamoureux notched her second marker of the game on the power play with a long wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Kerry Weiland (Palmer, Alaska) was then credited with her first goal of the tournament when her long slap shot redirected past Martin seven minutes into the final frame.

Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio) gave Team USA an 8-1 lead with less than five minutes remaining after collecting a rebound on her backhand and chipping a shot over an outstretched Martin. Monique Lamoureux completed the game’s scoring, burying her third of the afternoon on the power play.

Vetter finished the night with 11 saves in the victory, and has allowed only one goal in three games played. Meanwhile, Martin turned aside 37 shots in the loss.

The U.S. will face the winner of tonight’s other semifinal match-up between Canada and Finland in the gold-medal game Thursday. Team USA’s 2010 Olympic Winter Games results are listed below.

NOTES: Monique Lamoureux’s three-goal effort is the third of the tournament for Team USA. Jenny Potter logged three-goal games against China on Feb. 12 and Russia on Feb. 14 … Team USA is a tournament-best 59.1% in power-play efficiency, having connected on 13 of 22 opportunities at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games … Tonight’s second semifinal match-up between Canada and Finland will take place at 5 p.m. PST … Team USA went 3-for-5 on the power play, while Sweden was 1-for-4 … The U.S. roster, including player bios, can be found here. Additional coverage of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team can be found at USAHockey.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter … Mark Johnson, head women’s ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin, is Team USA’s head coach, with Dave Flint, head women’s ice hockey coach at Northeastern University, and Jodi McKenna, head women’s ice hockey coach at Wesleyan University, serving as assistant coaches … Today marked the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team’s "Miracle on Ice," in which it upset the Soviet Union en route to a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. 

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring By Period

USA…………. 2 – 3 – 4 – 9
SWEDEN…. 0 – 1 – 0 – 1 

First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, M. Lamoureux (Potter, Knight), 7:14; 2, USA, Duggan (Cahow, Stack), 8:23 (pp). Penalties: SWE, Eliasson (body-checking), 8:06; USA, Duggan (tripping), 14:27.

Second Period – Scoring: 3, USA, Ruggiero (J. Lamoureux), 3:22; 4, USA, Cahow (Thatcher), 5:58; 5, SWE, Winberg (Jordansson), 9:34 (pp); 6, USA, Thatcher (J. Lamoureux, Lawler), 13:35. Penalties: USA, Engstrom (roughing), 8:17; SWE, Andersson (interference), 10:38.

Third Period – Scoring: 7, USA, M. Lamoureux (Potter, Engstrom), 5:59 (pp); 8, USA, Weiland (Lawler), 7:15; 9, USA, Stack (Chu, Engstrom), 15:20; 10, USA, M. Lamoureux (Knight), 17:19 (pp). Penalties: SWE, Winberg (hooking), 5:47; SWE, Enstrom (tripping), 8:39; USA, Zaugg-Siergiej (tripping), 9:35; SWE, Team (too-many-players), 16:38; USA, Cahow (interference), 18:53. 

Shots by Period
USA ……..12 14 20 46
SWE………  3  6   3 12

Goaltenders (SH/SV) 
USA, Vetter 60:00     3-3      6-5     3-3    12-11
SWE, Martin 60:00   12-10 14-11 20-16  46-37  

Power Play: USA 3-5; SWE 1-4
Penalties: USA 4-8; SWE 5-10

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