The gold and bronze medal matchups are set after USA and Canada predictably won their semifinal games. The USA were again dominant not allowing the upstart Czechian’s to get their footing in their first ever semifinal, while Canada’s veteran stars powered them forward into the gold medal game over Switzerland.
Here are the recaps and three stars from today.
USA Blasts Czechia
USA ended Czechia’s dream run blasting their opponent 10-1 to advance to the gold medal game.
Taylor Heise continued her spectacular tournament scoring the opener at 7:53. Heise ran a give-and-go with linemate Alex Carpenter who found Heise open to the puck and drifting into the slot where she ripped a shot glove side on Czechian netminder Klara Peslarova. Heise’s point passed Hall of Famer Cammi Granato’s single-tournament mark, a number only surpassed by Cindy Curley in the inaugural 1990 event.
The remainder of the opening period was all USA including two goals from Hilary Knight. Jesse Compher got her first of the tournament, while Hayley Scamurra and Amanda Kessel also scored.
Kessel scored twice in the second period to record a hat trick, while Klara Hymlarova got Czechia on the board. Coming out of the box following a penalty, Hymlarova drove to the net and poked a loose puck through Nicole Hensley. Kessel’s hat trick goal came from the chemistry between Kessel and Heise with Heise dragging the puck around a Czechian defender before it slid to Kessel who one-timed a shot to score.
The third period saw Caroline Harvey extend the lead to 9-1. Then, with 7:25 to play, Kessel stole the puck inside the Czechian zone, dished to Heise who went across the body of the Czechian netminder to record her fifth point to close things out.
Canada Looks To Repeat After Beating Switzerland
Canada will look to repeat as world champions after advancing to the gold medal game following their 8-1 win over Switzerland.
Kristin O’Neill opened the scoring for Canada tipping home a puck after Ella Shelton dragged down the right board and shot into traffic. Only ten seconds later, Emma Maltais was first to the puck on the forecheck before finding Jessie Eldridge driving to the slot beating Switzerland’s Saskia Maurer who was deep in her net to make it 2-0.
Brianne Jenner cleaned up a rebound on the backhand three minutes into the second period after Jocelyn Larocque drove the puck to the net to make it 3-0. Just over four minutes later Sarah Fillier elevated her star status another notch jumping on a loose puck after a spectacular effort below the goal line by Emily Clark to find the back of the net. Just past the midway point of the game, with a two-player advantage, Switzerland got on the board as Lara Christen took a puck that came through traffic to the left side of the net where a stretching Ann-Renee Desbiens was unable to reach the puck.
To open the third Marie-Philip Poulin was the recipient of a beautiful pass from Renata Fast tapping home the 5-1 goal which moments later saw the lead extended to 6-1 with Sarah Nurse banging home a rebound on the powerplay. As the period progressed, the Canadian confidence grew with Poulin scoring her second of the game before Clark finished things off.
Finland needed overtime to defeat Hungary 3-2. Outshooting Hungary 36-18, defensive lapses cost the Finns. Luckily for Finland, Elisa Holopainen played hero scoring in overtime, with assists going to Petra Neiminen and Nelli Laitinen. Finland will now play in the fifth-place game on Sunday.
In the other placement affair, Sweden got out to a quick 3-0 lead over Japan on goals by Emma Muren, Olivia Carlsson, and Maja Nylen Persson, but Japan was not ready to roll over. In the second period, Japan fought back with goals from Haruka Toko, Yoshino Enomoto, and Makoto Ito, all on the powerplay, to tie the game 3-3 heading to the third. In the final frame, Japan pulled ahead as Toko scored her second, before Sweden’s Hanna Olsson answered back to make it 4-4. With less than three minutes remaining, Japan’s Remi Koyama capped Japan’s comeback win, scoring to secure a 5-4 win. Japan will now play Finland to see who remains in Group A.
1. Amanda Kessel, F (CAN): Quietly, Amanda Kessel has put together one of the best tournaments in World Championship history. Aside from newcomer Taylor Heise, Kessel’s 16 points would already be the second most in tournament history before this year. She notched a hat trick and an assist in the semis and dominated alongside Heise.
2. Marie-Philip Poulin, F (CAN): As if summoning some magic leading into the gold medal game, Poulin notched two goals and an assist, all in the third period, signaling to her team that it’s time to pick up the pace. Alongside Sarah Nurse and Brianne Jenner, the stars were buzzing for Canada.
3. Taylor Heise, F (USA): This might seem like a broken record, but it’s another five-point game for Taylor Heise who has been a scoring phenom in her first World Championship. She recorded two goals and three assists factoring into half of USA’s goals in their 10-1 win.