Whether it’s yet another showdown against the United States or Finland, all that mattered to Canada’s captain was that her dynamically offensive team earned its way to the championship game with a 10-3 win over Switzerland on Monday.
“We worked for these moments. We’ve been working for four years,” Poulin said. “I think we deserve it.”
Poulin scored twice, and Canada erupted for five first-period goals in an Olympic-record span of 3:24 to continue steamrolling through a tournament in which it’s 6-0 and out-scored opponents by a margin of 54-8.
The Canadians continued their run of appearing in every Olympic final since women’s hockey made its debut at the 1998 Nagano Games, and set up a potential showdown against the United States. The defending champion Americans play Finland in a rematch of their preliminary round-opening game in the tournament’s other semifinal later in the day.
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Poulin said of what would be the sixth Olympic gold-medal meeting between Canada and the U.S., and after the Americans’ 3-2 shootout victory at 2018 the Pyeongchang Games. “We know there’s a reality there. But either team will be a great team.”
The opponent might not matter given how Canada has been the tournament’s most dominating team by raising the bar in how the women’s game is played with a four-line deep, relentlessly attacking style of offense. Die 54 goals scored are a single Olympic tournament record, though the previous mark of 48 goals by Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Games came in only five games.
“I think we’re taking the game to new heights right now,” said Sarah Nurse, who had four assists. “We’re playing a style of hockey that’s never been seen in our tournament before. En so, in 5-10 jare, other countries are going to be playing our style of play, and we’re going to keep pushing the envelope and keep making our sport better.”
Claire Thompson had a goal and two assists, Rebecca Johnston had three assists and Brianne Jenner scored her tournament-leading 10th goal in a game Canada out-shot the Swiss 61-13.
The five goals scored in under 3 1/2 minutes broke the previous record set by the Canadians in 2010, when they scored five times in a 4:03 span in a 13-1 win over Sweden.
Thompson started the run 7:16 into the game when her shot from the high slot banked in off the left post. The first-time Olympian then made a splendid move in setting up Blayre Turnbull’s goal to put Canada up 3-0. Thompson sidestepped a Swiss defender, drove to the net and made a no-look pass into the slot, where Turnbull one-timed it in.
The barrage left Switzerland coach Colin Muller awestruck in how quickly things unraveled.
“We just had a blackout for four minutes,” hy het gesê. “You can’t give them that momentum because they’re just like sharks when they smell blood. And when they they taste it, they’re going.”
The one consolation is how his team didn’t let down as it did during a 12-1 loss to Canada in the tournament opener. Lara Stalder and Alina Muller cut the lead to 5-2 before Poulin and Emily Clark responded by scoring 11 seconds apart to put Canada up 7-2 by die 8:03 mark of the period.
The Swiss, making their fifth Olympic appearance, will play in the bronze-medal game on Wednesday in which they’ll have a chance to medal for the second time after winning bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games.
Andrea Braendli allowed four goals on 18 shots before being pulled. Saskia Mauer finished the game, allowing six goals on 43 skote. Ann-Renee Desbiens made 10 saves for Canada.
'N Amerikaanse. win over Finland would lead to the sixth of seven Olympic gold-medal showdowns between the cross-border rivals. The only time they’ve not met in the championship game came at the 2006 Turin Games when the United States lost to Sweden in the semifinals.
The Americans closed the preliminary round with a 4-2 loss to the Canadians. Canada rallied from a 2-1 deficit by scoring three times over a second-period span of 5:25.
Unlike the high-scoring Canadians, die VSA. has struggled with finishing chances while also playing without top-line center Brianna Decker, who broke her leg in a tournament-opening 5-2 win over Finland.
The Americans entered the day fifth among 10 teams in scoring efficiency with 24 goals on a tournament-leading 292 skote. Their power play ranked fourth in converting five of 24 opportunities.
AANTEKENINGE: Canada F Melodie Daoust had an assist in her first game since sustaining an upper body injury in the tournament-opener against Switzerland. … Nurse now has 16 punte (four goals, 12 help), which are the second-most in a single Olympic tournament. The record of 17 points was set by Canada’s Hayley Wickenheiser, who did so in five games in 2006. … Switzerland became the fourth opponent to score three or more goals in regulation against Canada in Olympic competition, and first since the Canadians’ 7-3 win over Finland at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.