For the second straight game, and the second straight year, Team USA crushed Russia in a pair of games to advance to the World Championships Gold Medal Game, and retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Just as they did in Malmö, the Americans followed up their group win over Russia with an even bigger beatdown in the Semifinals, this time a 9-0 blanking to set up the 17th consecutive Canada-USA Gold Medal Final. And much like the game before, an early onslaught forced Russia’s starting goalie for backup Nadezhda Morozova.
Kelli Stack opened the scoring seven minutes in, outskating all Russian defenders and wiring a feed from a streaking Monique Lamoureux. Sister Jocelyne needed just 37 seconds to double the score, outdeking the defense and rifling a shot five-hole past Anna Prugova while falling over her for the 2-0 lead. Megan Bozek made things 3-0 with a point blast that bounced over Prugova and in, followed by a Hilary Knight rebound off a point blast just 49 seconds later, driving Prugova out with just 10 saves on 14 shots.
Morozova would not fare much better, however, giving up a late one-timer goal to captain Meghan Duggan with 16 seconds left in the first, putting things at 5-0 after just twenty minutes. Lamoureux would add her second five minutes into the second on a one-timer from her knees, and penalty trouble for the Russians toward the end of the period, paired with shoddy rebound control and defense, led to goals from Brianna Decker and Stack to put the game at 8-0 after two. A Hilary Knight rifle streaking in on Morozova early in the third capped the night for the Americans, ending the night winning 9-0 and outshooting Russia 40-17.
With the win, Team USA retains its 28th International Hockey Lineal Championship, winning their 13th straight in a so-far perfect tournament. This marks the second time this week they have faced Russia, closing out the group round with a similar 8-0 win just three days earlier, echoing a pair of wins over Russia last year en route to the final, by scores of 9-2 and 13-1. As with every World Championships before, the U.S. now advances to face their Canadian foes on enemy ice for World Championship Gold, as well as the IHLC.
06:59 – GOAL – Stack (M. Lamoureux, Bellamy)
07:36 – GOAL – J. Lamoureux (Darkangelo, Bozek)
10:31 – GOAL – Bozek (Pankowski)
11:20 – GOAL – Knight (Bellamy, M. Lamoureux)
19:44 – GOAL – Duggan (M. Lamoureux, Hickel)
23:32 – PEN – Picard, interference
24:36 – PEN – Goncharenko, tripping
25:01 – GOAL – J. Lamoureux (Knight, M. Lamoureux)
36:01 – PEN – Shtaryova, interference
37:36 – PP GOAL – Decker (Knight)
39:15 – PEN – Dergachyova, kneeing
39:35 – PP GOAL – Stack (Skarupa, Carpenter)
41:23 – GOAL – Knight (Decker, Stecklein)
45:12 – PEN – Pankowski, tripping
54:33 – PEN – Shukina, body checking
W: Rigsby (17-17)
L: Prugova (10-14), Morozova (21-26)
SHOTS ON GOAL
17+17+6 = 40
6+4+7 = 17
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Megan Keller, Monique Lamoureux (A), Emily Pfalzer, Michelle Picard, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Shiann Darkangelo, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Zoe Hickel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski, Amanda Pelkey, Haley Skarupa, Kelli Stack, Dana Trivigno.
Goaltenders: Nadezhda Morozova, Anna Prugova. Defence: Angelina Goncharenko, Alexandra Kapustina, Yekaterina Nikolaeva, Nina Pirogova, Anna Shibanova, Anna Shukina (C). Forwards: Lyudmila Belyakova, Tatyana Burina, Yelena Dergachyova, Iya Gavrilova (A), Fanuza Kadirova, Elina Mitrofanova, Valeriya Pavlova, Alevtina Shtaryova, Yelena Silina, Galina Skiba, Yekaterina Smolentsova (A), Yekaterina Smolina, Olga Sosina, Alexandra Vafina.