After shutting out the ROC 5-0 Saturday morning, the U.S. women’s hockey team was hopeful they’d have a similar performance against Switzerland in their tilt on Sunday. They did just that and then some with an even more dominant effort to stay unbeaten at the 2022 Winter Olympics. They took down Switzerland 8-0, and it was pretty much a blowout from the very start.
The first period can only be described as a total onslaught. The U.S. scored five goals in the game’s first 20 minutes, and two of them came from Hilary Knight, who was also a juggernaut in Saturday’s win over the ROC. Back-to-back strong games for Knight, and she’s stepping up at the perfect time with Brianna Decker out for the remainder of the Olympics.
Switzerland opted to pull Saskia Maurer after the opening stanza and replaced her with Andrea Braendli, who faced a combined 86 shots in her squad’s first two games at the Olympics. Unfortunately for the Swiss, the goalie change didn’t do much of anything to swing momentum in their favor. Just over two minutes into the middle period, Kelly Pannek scored her second goal of the day to extend the U.S. lead.
That wasn’t it for the U.S. in the second period, though. Jesse Compher later scored her second goal of the game and third of the tournament to give the Americans a 7-0 “touchdown” lead. The 22-year-old now has four points in her first three games as an Olympian.
With three U.S. players all looking to complete the hat trick in the third period, it felt inevitable that at least one of them would net one more goal before the final buzzer. However, it was Dani Cameranesi who put the cherry on top late in the final frame to make it 8-0 for the Americans. This was Cameranesi’s first goal of the 2022 Games, so it must’ve felt good to get that monkey off her back.
This victory gives the U.S. back-to-back shutouts in consecutive days after Nicole Hensley blanked the ROC on Saturday. Against Switzerland, though, it was Alex Cavallini who registered the 12-save no-no in her first-ever start in an Olympic contest. This also serves as the third-straight game in which the U.S. allowed a grand total of just 12 shots on goal.
The United States’ next game comes Monday night at 11:10 p.m. ET, and it’s the one everyone’s been waiting for — USA vs. Canada. The Americans and Canadians are both expected to face off for the gold medal once again at this year’s Olympics, so expect some fireworks when the two teams square off for the first time at this tournament. Canada has been almost too good to start the preliminary stage, outscoring their opponents 23-2 in their two games of the Olympics thus far, but the U.S. has been impressive as well, going three-for-three in their games with a plus-16 goal differential.