In a much more subdued victory than in their Preliminary Round, Canada was held to just five goals in their Semifinal match against Finland, cruising to a 5-0 victory to book a date in the Gold Medal Game with the International Hockey Lineal Championship in tow.
Canada, facing a sharp Noora Räty in goal for Finland, were unable to solve Räty until 5:22 of the first, when a one-timer pass from Meghan Agosta to a streaking Cherie Piper knocked in the puck for the opening goal and 1-0 lead. Haley Irwin would add a second goal nine minutes later, a chipped in puck that deflected off Räty’s pad, the post and in, put Canada up 2-0 after twenty minutes, a low score considering the Naisleijonat were outshot 15-2. The shots were 17-3 after two, but Räty remained vigilant, helping to kill off three penalties and only conceding a single goal, an Agosta rebound after a failed 2-on-1 attempt from Jayna Hefford and Tessa Bonhomme to take the 3-0 lead into the second intermission.
And while the Finns mustered six shots in the third period, just a third of Canada’s 18, the lack of offense spelled the end, as they were unable to support Räty’s great game with any hope of tying or winning the game. Irwin potted in her second on the night 4:23 into the third, on a rebound off Räty’s chest pad and in to make the game 4-0. And on Canada’s only penalty of the night, a chance for Finland to try and recover a goal and wreck Shannon Szabados’ shutout, Marie-Philip Poulin instead chased a dumped puck into the Finnish zone, outskated and deked through four Finnish defenders, and found Caroline Ouellette open alone in front of Räty, knocking the short handed tip in for the 5-0 lead, the final score at the end of regulation,
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it brought into Vancouver from the 2009 Four Nations Cup in Finland, defending in a four-game series against the U.S. prior to the Olympics, and in Vancouver with wins over Slovakia, Switzerland and Sweden. Canada, in their 22nd IHLC reign, last faced Finland with the IHLC on the line at the aforementioned Four Nations Cup, winning 4-2 to retain the title. Canada now advances to their fourth consecutive Gold Medal Game, aiming for their third straight Gold against their rivals in the United States, with the chance to unify the Gold and IHLC at stake.
05:22 – GOAL – Piper (Agosta, Hefford)
08:29 – PEN – Hefford, hooking
12:21 – PEN – Voutilainen, hooking
14:36 – GOAL – Irwin
18:33 – PEN – MacLeod, tripping
23:31 – PEN – Välimäki, hooking
28:20 – PEN – Kellar, interference
30:48 – PEN – Lindstedt, cross checking
35:28 – PEN – Voutilainen, holding
35:45 – PEN – Apps, hooking
36:21 – GOAL – Agosta (Bonhomme, Hefford)
40:47 – PEN – S. Tuominen, high sticking
44:23 – GOAL – Irwin (Johnston, Vaillancourt)
46:38 – PEN – Pelttari, interference
57:50 – PEN – Vaillancourt, cross checking
58:57 – SH GOAL – Ouellette (Poulin)
W: Szabados (11-11)
L: Räty (45-50)
SHOTS ON GOAL
15+17+18 = 50
2+3+6 = 11
Goaltenders: Kim St-Pierre, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Tessa Bonhomme, Becky Kellar, Carla MacLeod, Meaghan Mikkelson, Colleen Sostorics, Catherine Ward. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford (A), Haley Irwin, Rebecca Johnston, Gina Kingsbury, Caroline Ouellette (A), Cherie Piper, Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Vaillancourt, Hayley Wickenheiser (C).
Goaltenders: Noora Räty, Anna Vanhatalo. Defence: Jenni Hiirikoski (A), Emma Laaksonen (C), Rosa Lindstedt, Terhi Mertanen, Heidi Pelttari, Mariia Posa, Saija Sirviö. Forwards: Anne Helin, Venla Hovi, Michelle Karvinen, Annina Rajahuhta, Karoliina Rantamäki, Mari Saarinen, Nina Tikkinen, Minnamari Tuominen, Saara Tuominen (A), Linda Välimäki, Marjo Voutilainen.