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Team USA Advances To Semifinals At Women’s Hockey Worlds

By Craig Bohnert | April 01, 2016, 10:09 a.m. (ET)

Monique Lamoureux scores a goal against Russia at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship on March 31, 2016 in Kamloops, British Columbia. 

The United States women’s ice hockey team defeated Russia 8-0 Thursday evening to close group play at the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship with an unblemished 3-0 record.

After hard-fought, competitive contests with host Canada and Finland that found the U.S. side trailing in both games, the Americans changed the script against a Russian side that came in with an 0-2 record, having scored only four goals while surrendering 13. Kendall Coyne, a 2014 Olympic silver medalist and recipient of the 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award, opened the scoring five minutes into the game on a feed from Annie Pankowski, followed quickly by another tally from two-time Olympian and four-time world champion Monique Lamoureux for a 2-0 lead.

Less than eight minutes later, Megan Keller picked up her first goal of the tournament and third in world championship play to make the score 3-0 with 5:41 left in the period. The United States went into the locker room for the first intermission with a 14-6 advantage in shots.

Although the U.S. took twice as many shots as the Russians (10-5), the second period saw no change in the score. The third period opened with the teams playing four-on-four after both were called for fouls in the final minute of the second. An interference call against Russia at the 43:49 mark gave the U.S. its fourth power play opportunity of the night, and Monique Lamoureux cashed that chance in with her second goal of the evening. That woke the American attack, as Shiann Darkangelo picked up her first world championship goal at 46:19, followed by 2015 world championship MVP Hilary Knight’s fourth goal of the tournament at 49:10. Knight added another power play goal at 56:17, and Pankowski finished off the night with her goal at 57:14.

With her second two-goal performance of the tournament, Knight has moved into sole possession of second place for career goals by an American at the world championships. She now has 30, trailing only the 44 scored by the legendary Cammi Granato.

The U.S. outshot Russia 39-16 and converted three of seven power play opportunities. Goalkeeper Nicole Hensley earned the shutout in her first world championship appearance, making 16 saves.

“It being the first time putting on the jersey, obviously you want to make a good first impression,” said Hensley. “It’s all about knowing how to handle that and going out and competing every second. The team played so well and did all the little things right and made my job incredibly easy.”

With the win, the United States solidified its position atop Group A with 9 points and earned advancement directly to the semifinal round at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 3. If history holds true, the United States and Canada will meet in the championship game on Monday, April 4. They are the only two teams to play in the world championship gold-medal game since the event was launched in 1990. The United States has won five of the last six and six of the last eight world championships.

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