By Todd Kortemeier | Nov. 09, 2018, 6 p.m. (ET)
Hannah Brandt skates at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 15, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

Three first-period goals got the U.S. women’s ice hockey team off to a hot start as it cruised to a 5-1 win over Sweden Friday in the final game of the Four Nations Cup preliminary round.

Next up for Team USA is the championship game on Saturday evening, against either Canada or Finland. 

Five different players scored for the U.S.

Sydney Brodt started things off 4:25 into the game off a big rebound for her third goal in three games. Almost exactly 4:25 later, Melissa Samoskevich scored her first national team goal to double the lead. Hannah Brandt finished off the frame with a goal between the Swedish netminder’s legs with 40 seconds left.

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Brianna Decker opened up a 4-0 lead two minutes into the second period, dangling past two Sweden defenders before rifling home a wrister. Sweden would pull one back, but that was as close as it got as Dani Cameranesi restored the four-goal lead 8:11 into the final period. 

Team USA is undefeated thus far at the Four Nations, beating Finland 5-1 and Canada 2-1 in its first two games. The U.S. is seeking its ninth Four Nations Cup title and fourth in a row. 

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.