Lee Stecklein skates with the puck at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
Let the playoffs begin.
With a commanding 10-0 win over Russia on Tuesday, the U.S. women’s ice hockey team wrapped up group play at the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship undefeated with a 4-0 record. The Americans now move on to the quarterfinals as their quest to win a fifth consecutive world title continues on Thursday in Espoo, Finland.
The defending Olympic champion, Team USA opened the world championship last Thursday with a 6-2 win over host Finland, and followed that up with a 3-2 win over Canada on Saturday and a dominating 8-0 win over Switzerland on Sunday. With the victory over Russia, the Americans completed the preliminary round undefeated for the fourth consecutive time at the world championship.
Tuesday’s finale against Russia was a dominant performance in which six different players scored seven goals in the first two periods alone. Kendall Coyne Schofield and Lee Stecklein each scored twice for Team USA, while goalie Alex Rigsby made 12 saves in the shutout.
Both Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight also extended their point streaks in the win, with Coyne Schofield finishing the preliminary round as the team’s leading scorer with four goals and three assists. Knight, who scored a goal against Russia, now has four in the tournament. With 40 career goals in the Women’s World Championship, Knight is closing in on Cammi Granato’s record of 44.
Coming off their epic Olympic gold-medal win against Canada last February, the U.S. is seeking its fifth consecutive world title and its ninth since the tournament began in 1990. The quarterfinals begin on Thursday, with the opponent still to be determined. The medal games are scheduled for Sunday.
Seventeen of the 23 players on this year’s roster have competed in the Olympics, including 14 who helped the U.S. to win the gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.