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