Team USA recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to cruise to a 5-1 victory over Russia and advance to a gold-medal date with Canada on Monday night at the Hallenstadion. It’s the 13th straight meeting between the women’s teams for gold, the Americans having won the last two and three of the last four.
Brianna Decker had two goals and two assists. The line of Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (one goal, three assists), sister Jocelyne Lamoureux (one goal, one assist), and Kelli Stack (two assists), was dominant for the Americans.
Iya Gavrilova got the lone Russian goal. Shots favoured the Americans by a huge 68-14 margin.
“We work really well together,” Lamoureux-Kolls said of the recently-formed threesome. “Kelli is so good at getting the puck and moving it, and Jocelyne and I have played together all our lives, of course, so for us to work so well together is awesome.”
Russia shocked the Americans with a goal just 3:21 into the game when Gavrilova scored off a scramble in front of goalie Jesse Vetter. The Russians maintained their lead for half a period, playing with poise and confidence, and Anna Prugova made a couple of great glove saves on a U.S. power play.
“We came out flat to start the game and that made us upset during the first intermission,” Lamoureux-Kolls said. “We don’t want to be doing that at the World Championships, especially against Canada on Monday.”
But the Americans pressed and remained patient, knowing if they kept shooting the goals would come. Indeed, they got two quick goals just 34 seconds apart, the first from Lamoureux-Kolls and then Kendall Coyne.
The goals deflated the Russians noticeably and they had a tough time coping with the U.S. attack for the rest of the period, being outshot by the colossal margin of 33-5.
The Americans got the only two goals of the second period to put the game out of reach, although the Russians had come back from 3-0 down to Switzerland just 24 hours earlier. The U.S., however, was not Switzerland.
And now, it’s time for the gold-medal game that everyone suspected would feature the U.S. and Canada, a game that will be played at a much faster pace than what fans have seen here so far.
“We know Canada is going to give us our best game, and we want to give them our best as well. It’s about being more mentally prepared,” said Lamoureux-Kolls.
IHLC: With the win, Team USA retains their 22nd International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won from Canada in a pre-tournament exhibition game, and retained in wins against Slovakia, Russia and Sweden. The aforementioned Group Round win over Russia, a 13-1 blowout just five days ago, marks the last IHLC meeting between these two. The U.S. now advances to their 14th consecutive Gold Medal Game, and their 14th straight final against Canada, with Gold and the IHLC on the line.
03:21 – GOAL – Gavrilova (Sosina, Smolentseva)
04:05 – PEN – Smolentseva, tripping
11:31 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (J. Lamoureux)
12:05 – GOAL – Coyne (Decker, Knight)
20:58 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, hooking
22:08 – PEN – Sergina, tripping
24:08 – GOAL – J. Lamoureux (M. Lamoureux, Decker)
26:14 – PEN – Gavrilova, holding
26:59 – PP GOAL – Decker (Cahow, M. Lamoureux)
29:50 – PEN – Kapustina, interference
34:09 – PEN – Knight, slashing
36:28 – PEN – Pucci, tripping
46:57 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, holding
52:01 – PEN – Sergina, body checking
52:18 – PP GOAL – Decker (M. Lamoureux, Cahow)
57:33 – PEN – Stack, body checking
W: Vetter (13-14)
L: Prugova (63-68)
SHOTS ON GOAL
33+18+17 = 68
5+3+6 = 14
Goaltenders: Brianne McLaughlin, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Josephine Pucci, Angela Ruggiero (A), Anne Schleper. Forwards: Julie Chu (A), Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Gigi Marvin, Jenny Schmidgall (C), Jen Schoullis, Kelli Stack, Kelley Steadman.
Goaltenders: Valentina Ostrovlyanchik, Anna Prugova. Defence: Inna Dyubanok, Alexandra Kapustina, Alyona Khomich, Zoya Polunina, Anna Shukina, Svetlana Tkachyova. Forwards: Tatyana Burina (A), Iya Gavrilova (A), Yekaterina Lebedeva, Olga Semenets, Marina Sergina, Galina Skiba, Yekaterina Smolentseva (C), Yekaterina Solovyova, Olga Sosina, Svetlana Terentieva, Alexandra Vafina.