U.S. and Canada reach gold medal final
By Frank Pingue
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Canada edged Switzerland and the United States cruised by Sweden on Monday to set up a gold medal rematch between the arch-rivals in the women's ice hockey tournament at the Sochi Games.
The Americans barely had to break sweat in their 6-1 win but a determined Swiss team gave Canada a tougher fight than many expected even after falling behind early in a 3-1 loss.
Leading 1-0, Canada looked headed for a routine victory after beating Swiss goalie Florence Schelling twice in a 23-second span and pulling ahead 3-0 less than 12 minutes into the opening period.
But Switzerland got on the board early in the second period and kept pressing while the three-time defending gold medalists were unable to beat Schelling the rest of the way despite outshooting the Swiss 48-22.
"We knew that they have a great team and a great goalie and we just kept coming, we stuck with the game plan and they gave us a run for our money," Canada's Meghan Agosta told reporters.
"That just goes to show you that women's hockey is getting a lot better and a lot of teams are getting a lot stronger and that's what we want."
Canada beat the United States 2-0 in the final at the 2010 Vancouver Games and also beat their biggest rival 3-2 during the preliminary round in Sochi.
Ice hockey's two superpowers will play for gold on Thursday. Continued...