VANCOUVER – Except for the possibility of facing Canada, Team USA has been waiting for this game.
Looking to avenge a 3-2 semi-finals loss to Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics, Team USA came into this game clearly motivated by the opportunity.
With goals from seven different skaters, Team USA defeated Sweden 9-1.
The win moves the USA into a gold medal showdown with either Canada or Finland on Thursday at Canada Hockey Place.Click here for the photo gallery of the game.
“We’ve trained hard for this and we’re all fired up now that we’re going to the gold medal game,” said Meghan Duggan.
The 2010 USA women’s team bears almost no resemblance to the divided squad that was upset in Turin. This team is more focused and committed to winning. Most important, there's no drama surrounding the team to distract from their main goal: winning.
In today’s semi-final game, the American attack was balanced. Jenny Potter leads the team in goal scoring but did not have to carry the offense as Monique Lamoureux had that covered.
Team USA took the lead when Lamoureux, accepted a pass from Julie Chu and drove to the net.
Pernilla Winberg tried jamming in a shot but Jessie Vetter, who has been exceptional in the tournament, made the save. The Americans quickly turned things around and off the transition, Lamoureux accepted a Julie Chu pass and made a power move to the net.
Duggan scored a power play goal off a Caitlin Cahow rebound in front. The goal came at 8:23 as Emma Eliasson was in the penalty box for body checking. Swedish goaltender Kim Martin made the original save on Cahow’s shot, but Duggan was there to tap the rebound home.
The Americans resumed their dominance of the Swedes in the second period when Angela Ruggiero, Cahow, and Karen Thatcher added middle frame markers.
Pernilla Winberg scored Sweden’s only goal of the game on the power play at 9:34 of the second.
By the third, the Americans were on top of their game.
Lamoureux added two goals in the third to register a hat trick. Julie Chu, who had members of her family in attendance, and Kim Stack also tallied in the period.
USA has one more game, and it will be a big one.
"It is now a one game season for us," said Chu. “It will take sixty minutes of hard work and we have to get the puck to the net, but there will be no surprises.
Sweden will face the loser of the Canada-Finland matchup in the bronze medal game.