Cana­dian women’s hockey team to bat­tle U.S. for Olympic gold

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

VAN­COU­VER (CP) — Canada is a win away from an­other gold in Olympic women’s hockey.

The two-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons ad­vanced to the fi­nal at the Van­cou­ver Games with a 50 semi­fi­nal win over Fin­land on Mon­day.

Canada and the U.S. meet Thurs­day for gold. The Amer­i­can women beat Canada in the last two world cham­pi­onship fi­nals and in the 1998 Olympics, when women’s hockey made its de­but at the Win­ter Games.

The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons got a pair of goals from Ha­ley Ir­win of Thun­der Bay, Ont., while Toronto’s Cherie Piper, Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont., and Montreal’s Caro­line Ouel­lette added sin­gles. Jayna Hef­ford of Kingston, Ont., had two as­sists.

The crowd at Canada Hockey Place broke into a spon­ta­neous ren­di­tion of “O Canada” with just over three min­utes left to play.

Ed­mon­ton goal­tender Shan­non Sz­aba­dos stopped 11 shots for a shutout in her sec­ond start of the tour­na­ment. Fin­land’s Noora Raty, who plays for the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota, was pelted with 50 shots and kept her coun­try in the game with 45 saves.

With her ninth goal of the tour­na­ment, Agosta broke Danielle Goyette’s record for goals in a sin­gle Olympics, set in 1998.

The U.S. de­feated Swe­den 9-1 in an ear­lier semi­fi­nal. The Swedes up­set the Amer­i­cans in the 2006 semi­fi­nal en route to a sil­ver medal.

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