Quick start leads Canada to 4-1 victory vs. Finland


The United States won two of the first three, but Canada now has won five straight against their biggest and only rival.

Schuler grumbled the familiar hockey coach's lament that once her team took a 4-0 lead they got a little too hungry for more goals at the expense of some defensive play. However, their effort in the final 20 minutes didn't get rewarded, as Canada goaltender Genevieve Lacasse had America's number for the entire game.

Both teams will advance to the semifinals and will await the winners of the quarterfinals matchup.

"I do like where our team's at", said Canada coach Laura Schuler. Canada outshot Finland 32-23 for the game.

"We've got great kids (nine rookies) and we've got great energy". Riikka Valila added a third period goal for Finland at the 7:17 mark to break the Shannon Szabados shutout. The U.S. defeated the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation 5-0 in the late game on Tuesday, securing semi-final berths for both Canada and the U.S. Teammates Agosta and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL) led the way for Canada with a goal and an assist each.

Canada thought it had the first goal of the game with 3:15 left in the first period, but Melodie Daoust and captain Marie-Philip Poulin were in the crease with the play blown dead. "It doesn't matter who puts the puck in the net as long as we're successful at the end of the game".

Finland had eyes on medaling in this year's competiton but had to face both North American powerhouses in its first two games of the 2018 Winter Games.

Daoust finally gave Canada a 3-0 advantage in the second period, beating Raty with a wrister from the top of the right circle at 8:19. That missed call was eventually reversed but it was the second time the officials missed a clear goal. Since it became an Olympics sport, the two countries have fought relentlessly.

That was a team of future Hockey Hall of Famers, NHL most valuable players and scoring champions like Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews.

"I think we did a good job keeping them to the outside", Lacasse said.

"Playing my first games with some of the best veterans in the world is pretty special", Saulnier said.

After a high-tempo scoreless opening period, Canada took control in the second on a power-play goal from Meghan Agosta and another from Sarah Nurse, who found the top corner of goalie Maddie Rooney's net with a laser-like wrist shot.