USA secured their place in the Beijing 2022 women’s ice hockey gold medal match, by producing a professional performance to overcome Finland with a 4-1 win at the Wukesong Sports Centre.
A goal each from Cayla Barnes, Hilary Knight, Hayley Scamurra and Abby Roque ultimately proved to be the difference to beat the resolute Finns, who briefly reduced the deficit to 3-1 thanks to Anni Keisala.
It was a scoreless first period, with the Finland goaltender doing well to keep out all 12 shots that she faced in cagey opening 20 minutes.
Beijing 2022
Pure Olympics - Ice Hockey
24/02/2022 AT 15:34
The outcome of the game could have been very different had the USA’s Alex Cavalinni not made six vital saves herself, which included an incredible glove stop to keep out Michelle Karvinen’s effort in the final 30 seconds to keep the scores level.
But the first goal came with 23 minutes and 39 seconds on the clock when Barnes got the power play goal at the end of some brilliant puck movement. She played down low towards Knight, who did a neat one-two back to her to break the deadlock.
That lead was doubled with 38 minutes and 53 seconds played, and Knight was integral once again. Kendall Coyne Schofield was able to take a loose puck from behind Finland’s net to feed in Savannah Harmon. Her shot was blocked, but Knight was there on the rebound to finish past Keisala.
USA were in cruise control, but any hopes of a shutout for Cavallini were extinguished when Tapani took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to get the Finns a consolation goal with 59 minutes and 39 seconds gone.
But there was still time for Roque to get another goal for the US to send them through to Thursday’s final in style.
As for Finland, they still have the chance to fight for the bronze medal against Switzerland on Wednesday.
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