The U.S. women's ice hockey team defeated Sweden 9-1 to advance to the gold medal game on Thursday, Feb. 25. Following the game, they discussed their performance and who they might face next vying for their first gold medal since the 1998 Nagano Games.

Julie Chu
On team's readiness for next game:
"We've spent six months preparing. In the last 3 or 4 games we've still been able to work on a lot of things and get ourselves used to the Olympics environment. With such a young team is to make sure we have our players playing in front of these crowds getting some pressure. Sweden gave us a great game, finland gave us a great game even though the score might not indicate that they did put pressure on there and made us work for it."

On last night's game:
"A bunch of us went to the game and just soaked up the atmosphere. When you're at the olympics and you get to play in front of a crowd like that whether they're in red and white and cheering against you it doesn't matter it's an awesome atmosphere. I think they [canadians] always like the underdog so I think we're going to meet some rowdy crowds against us but we're used to it and regardless we feed off of it. I enjoy playing in front of them, at least they're enthusiastic about women's hockey. I can't ask for more than that."

On Coach Mark Johnson:
"He knows how to score goals and technical aspects of the game, [but more] he knows how to motivate us. He lets us have an atmosphere that lets us play and enjoy ourselves and I think that's the key to success, is to have the players be free out there and let the players do whatever they can to be successful."

What's the key to playing well against Canada?
"If we play Canada I think the key is to make sure we play the 60 minute game together. They're a great team so you have to make sure you're not letting down at all because they will capitalize on that. So, 60 minutes of hard work and getting the puck to the net when we have the opportunity. Girls, they like to overpass the puck and try to share it a little too much so we need to put the puck on the net and make sure we create some [action] in front of the goalie."

On who will be playing in the gold medal game:
"When it comes to playing in the gold medal game it's whoever comes and steps up. It's a one game season right now, so who wants to come up and take it."


Jessie Vetter:

On being here:
"I love being here it's a great venue. The fans were awesome and having a great time."

On confidence going into the next game:
"I don't talk about confidence you've just got to be ready. I think we've been working hard, practicing hard and I think we're ready. If I'm in there I just have to do my best, set off as many pucks as I can."

On staying loose throughout a game where offense is in the other end:
"It's, as a goaltender, you prefer more consistent shots to get yourself into the game and to get yourself ready for that possibility. I prefer to keep myself loose and keep myself more involve."

On how many shots per game:
"The average for any game is between 20 and 30 or maybe 35 for your average competitive game. I didn't talk to Ryan Miller before the game."

Any disappointment to give up the one goal?
"No, it was a power play we were one man down and she had a great shot. I told her after. She's a great player and made a great play."

On mentally blocking out Canadian fans:
"I try not to block it out. I enjoy it I love having people in the stands even if they're cheering against me, they just love hockey so much. I just try to take it in and enjoy being out there. It's just nice to have people in the stands finally, playing college hockey you don't have too many fans in the stands but playing here in the Olympics...it's just been awesome."

On Canadian fans today:
"They were definitely going against the US today. We were at the game last night and the Canadians still were so nice and wishing us luck for today."

On their game

"We came in and tried to work hard and play a full 60 minutes and I think we did that. We played a really good game. We put ourselves in position to be in the gold medal game and we’re excited about that."

 

On women’s hockey not having a competitive balance

"I definitely think it’s still early in the development of women’s hockey in general. Even in the U.S. we’re still growing and Canada obviously is still up there. But every year will get better and better with more funding and stuff."



Kerry Weiland:

"But we're so happy to be moving on especially in the last six months together as a team we're really coming together at the right time and we're excited to go on."

On the gold medal game (obviously your work's not done?)
Work's not done we're going to have to play a full 60 minutes and really put our hearts on the line and not be afraid of what could happen, and just play the game we've loved to play since we were little. It'll most likely be Canada but regardless of who it is we have to be ready, we're going to be ready.

How good was the revenge today after four years ago against Sweden?
We made sure we took care of business today and we don't look past anyone. Whether anyone in the preliminaries until the seeds in the playoffs. It's in our minds to send a message and make sure everyone in the world knew that we're a different team now and we'll take it all the way.


Monique Lamoreaux USA Hockey-Had a hat trick; scoring the 1st, 6th, and final goal

 

On her hat trick

"I feel awesome we put ourselves in a position to be in the gold medal game. Once we leave the rink today it doesn’t matter we’ve still got Thursday and we need to focus on Canada."

 

On expecting a closer game

Up until the second period I thought it was a really close game. They played it tough. They definitely had more opportunities to score but Vetter (USA goaltender) played awesome she stopped everything she needed to stop. I think after Canada’s game with Sweden we knew they were going to play much tougher and they did, but we came ready to play.  We’re definitely ready for Thursday

 

On the score

"Everyone loves to score a goal. It never gets old. Scoring three goals in the semi-finals is amazing."

On young players

"Sweden has a very young team so you know in a couple of years they’re going to be really good." 

 

US college hockey

"Right now college is the way to go and if they get the opportunity to play for the US. Then they’ll be able to become better players but that’s not to say anything about the programs not, I just think right now they don’t exactly have enough numbers." 

 

On the goalie

"You can’t expect a goalie to win every game. They’re obviously a great team and played great defensively."

 

 

Caitlin Cahow USA Hockey scored 4th goal of the game


On the game

"It was a great game, we were just trying to play our game and go out there and have a solid 60 minutes going away with that score. This is where we want to be going into the gold medal game."

 

On the 2006 Olympic game

"We definitely have six girls who were there in ‘06 and we were reminded of it. We came out not looking past Sweden, knowing they were capable of being a great team. We just came out trying to play good hockey.

 

On the crowd:

"Crowd was unbelievable. That was an awesome atmosphere to be in front of, loud, supportive, it was a lot of fun to be in the building."

 

On a lot of Sweden supporters in the crowd

"It’s gets us ready for Thursday. No matter who they’re cheering for it’s just nice to hear people cheering for women’s hockey. Whether they’re cheering for them or for us that’s a lot of crowd support we don’t usually get."


On the team's defensive performance:

"This is a team that has given up only two goals so far. As a defenseman, it’s my goal to keep the puck out of the net, so I’m feeling good about where we are defensively. On things we can improve upon, I think in this environment, you have to make sure you move the puck quickly."

 

On facing Sweden’s Kim Martin again after Sweden beat the US in the 2006 Games:

"I think we changed our strategy a bit. We know Kim Martin is an incredible goal tender and she sees a lot of things and has the ability to take advantage like she did four years ago. You know that from the get-go and you have to get pucks on the net. We’ve had an unbelievable amount of shots tonight. It doesn’t matter what kind of shot it is. When you have Martin on the opposite net, you just want to get it there."

 

On enjoying the win going into the gold medal game on Thurs:

"You have to enjoy this win because I was in these shoes four years ago when this happened. I remember that feeling and I remember how much I wanted to come back and get the opportunity four year later.  And we’re here now. We’ve done that and I think we showed tonight that we’re a team to be reckoned with. And we’re ready to go. It doesn’t matter what happens in the months leading up to this moment. This is 60 minutes or as long as it takes."

 

On blocking a shot with her knee:

"I feel fantastic. It’s feeling good. We’re back and ready to go. It’s part of the game. I’ll gladly go down and block a shot anytime. You saw my frustration down there. It wasn’t out of pain. It was ‘we let up a goal right there.’ I’m so mad that I didn’t get my butt up and get back to the net. Moving on from here, I feel great. I’m ready to go."

 

On the crowd mostly cheering for Sweden:

"When we hear those voices, whether or not they’re cheering for us, they’re cheering for hockey and we’re glad to be a part of it."

 

On watching the US men’s team defeat Canada:

"It was a pretty special moment for us when we came back to the village we got to see the boys. I rode up in the elevator with Zach Parise last night and he looked like a 10-year-old kid who just put his first pair of skates on. It was a really great night for US hockey."


 

Meghan Duggan USA Hockey-scored 2nd goal of the game


Key to being successful

"I think we just focus on ourselves and we focus on going hard to the net, just being tougher and stronger, and faster." 


 On the 2006 Olympic game

"We try not to dwell on the past we’re trying to live in the present. Right now we’re here in 2010 and obviously we found ourselves in a similar situation playing Sweden in the semi-final game but they didn’t get to us this time. I wasn’t on the team back then so I don’t know how it went, so we just focused on today and it was successful." 


On scoring a goal early in the game:

"It was an early goal, and early goals are huge especially against someone like [Sweden’s Kim] Martin, so it was important for us to jump out on the board  and that’s what we did in the first period and just kept it going for the whole game."

 

On potentially playing Canada in the gold medal game:

"Right now we’re just happy we’re in that game. Canada and Finland have a game to play. We’ll see who wins that game and we’ll just go from that."

 

On watching the U.S. men’s hockey team defeat Canada:

"It was unbelievable. I think a lot of people are talking about that being a once in a lifetime thing. Those two don’t always face each other so it was great to be a part of that. It aided in a lot of our excitement for today."


 

Hilary Knight:

 

On playing for coach Mark Johnson:

"We’re really fortunate to have Mark Johnson as a coach. We bring more media and support to our team also through his accomplishments. Every day I come to the rink with a smile on my face and I can say the same thing for 20 other girls. It’s so much fun to play for him."

 

On possibly facing Canada in the gold medal game:

"As long as we keep on doing what we’re doing we should have a great game. It’s not really focusing on them, its focusing on ourselves and making sure we’re prepared because the only ones that can really beat us are ourselves."