Wednesday, February 17, 2010

U.S.A. Women's Blow's Out Russia

For the 2nd straight game, the American Women have taken another strong step towards getting back to the Olympic Gold Medal with their 2nd straight Double Digit Victory. In their opener against China, they won 12-1, this time against Russia, it's a 13-0 win over a Russian Team that was hoping to win the Bronze Medal. Next up is Finland that will determine who the Americans Semifinal Matchup will be, it will either by Sweden or Canada whose the top 2 in the other group in this tournament.

From the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Website.

In 1980 Mark Johnson helped make life difficult for the Soviets in helping Team U.S.A. to one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Today as Women's Team Head Coach, his U.S.A. Women's team was equally unkind, beating Russia in a rout.

For the second straight time, Team U.S.A won in a blowout, by defeating Russia 13-0 in the Women's Prelim Round. Led by Jenny Potter's hat trick and Natalie Darwitz's two goals, the Americans remained undefeated. Russia has not won a game yet.

Today, the American Women put on an offensive display that rivals what the Canadians have done so far at the UBC Thunderbird Arena. Team U.S.A. has scored 25 goals in the 2 games so far.

"We wanted to focus on a few things, but mostly winning and keeping the puck out of our net." Said Jenny Porter.

Monique Lamoreaux scored the only goal the Americans needed at 2:19 of the first period. Lamoreaux intercepted a clearing attempt and weaved through the defense and let go of a wrist shot that beat Goaltender Anna Prugova between the pads.

At 5:48 Holly Knight blocked a shot and sent an outlet pass up to Potter in stride. Potter's wrist shot beat Prugova. The goal was shorthanded with :43 remaining on a penalty to Caitlin Cahow who was called off the interference.

In the third period Prugova was busy facing seventeen shots. Karen Thatcher, Cahow and Potter once again would add goals to comfortably put the U.S.A. up 5-0. While the Americans were dominant, the Russians did not help their cause by taking some penalties. Six of the 13 goals scored on the PP. Head Coach Valentin Gureev could only watch from the bench as his team was overmatched in every aspect the game.

When Natalie Darwitz scored his 2nd goal of the 2nd period, Gureev lifted Prugova from the game and inserted Mariya Onolbaeva. Potter greeted Onolbaev :46 later by scoring her third goal of the afternoon.

By the third period the Russians were visibly frustrated. Matters were not helped when Alena Khomich deflected a Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej shot into Russia's net. Zaugg-Siergiej received credit for the goal, her first of the Olympic Tournament.

Russia showed some signs of life late in the 2nd period and in spots over the third but could not sustain any pressure on Jessie Vetter who faced just 7 shots in the game. When they did the crowd, a mix of Canadian and American Fans, cheered loudly in support of Russia's effort.

"They played their hearts out," said Anglea Ruggiero, who scored a 2nd period goal. "I respect them deeply and hope the Russian Federation sees the potential for the Women's Program.

The Americans are firing on all offensive cylinders and getting important production from key players. Potter has been an offensive force here in Vancouver. She's recorded six goals, which leads all scorers. Holly Knight added four assists in the game giving her 5 so far in the tournament.

They will close out Group Round play on Thursday against Finland. Russia will be looking for it's first win against China.

"Our goal is to get through this round," said Darwitz. "We have an important game against Finland and that is what we are now concentrating on".

Game Report:

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