2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship

U.S. beats Finland in shootout for gold after OT controversy

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ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Alex Rigsby stopped four of five shots in a shootout and the United States beat Finland 2-1 on Sunday night for its fifth consecutive gold medal at the women’s world championship.

The U.S. won after a questionable goaltender interference review wiped out what would have been a historic overtime goal for the Finns.

Finland celebrated on home ice after Petra Nieminen scored on a rebound 11:33 into overtime, but officials spent more than 10 minutes reviewing the play before disallowing the goal for goalie interference and forcing players to pick up their equipment and resume the game. Fans who chanted “Suomi!” and waved blue and white flags throughout the game and erupted into jubilation after Nieminen appeared to score rained boos down on the Americans when they were given their medals.

“I’m extremely proud of our team tonight for playing their game while emotions were running high, in a loud building and against a team that played us incredibly hard,” U.S. coach Bob Corkum said. “It’s been an honor to coach this team.”

This was already a first for Finland, which pulled a stunning upset of Canada in the semifinals Saturday behind 43 saves from Noora Raty. The U.S. and Canada had met in each of the previous 28 world championship finals dating to the first in 1990.

Finland was close to winning gold on home ice. Even after Nieminen’s goal was disallowed for captain Jenni Hiirikoski making contact with Rigsby just outside the crease, the U.S. had to kill off two Finland power plays in overtime of a thrilling game.

“This is the best Finnish team we’ve ever seen,” said Rigsby, who made 26 saves before the shootout started and then denied Michelle Karvinen, Ronja Savolainen, Nieminen and Susanna Tapani to extend the Americans’ gold-medal streak that dates to 2015.

Amanda Kessel and Annie Pankowski scored in the shootout against Raty, the best goaltender in the world, who made 50 saves in regulation and overtime. Pankowski scored the Americans’ only goal in regulation in the second period, and Susanna Tapani answered 1:43 later for Finland.

Canada routed Russia 7-0 in the bronze-medal game earlier Sunday.

Controversy aside, this final was reminiscent in entertainment value and ending to the gold-medal game between the U.S. and Canada at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. That game also went through overtime and into a shootout with Maddie Rooney in goal for the U.S. when it beat Canada for the country’s first women’s hockey Olympic gold medal since 2002.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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U.S. rips Russia 8-0 to reach hockey IIHF World Championship final vs. Finns

ESPOO, Finland (AP) — The United States soared into the gold-medal game at the women’s world hockey championship by routing Russia 8-0 Saturday behind two goals each by Hilary Knight and Kelly Pannek.

The undefeated Americans will be going for their fifth straight title Sunday against Finland. The host nation jolted Canada 4-2 in the other semifinal.

”We really hit our stride in the second period tonight and were able to generate a lot of offense,” U.S. coach Bob Corkum said. ”We’re one step closer to what we came here for and couldn’t be more excited.”

Goalie Alex Rigsby of the U.S. made 11 stops for her second shutout of the tournament.

Canada will face Russia for the bronze medal Sunday. Earlier in the tournament, the U.S. concluded pool play with a 10-0 romp over Russia.

The U.S. and Canada had met in all 18 previous world championship finals, dating to the first in 1990.

Finland goalie Noora Raty, playing in her hometown, made 43 saves in sending her country past the heavily favored Canadians. It was Canada’s first semifinal loss at the women’s worlds.

”We’ve been pretty confident that one day it could happen when we play a perfect game and I have a good game,” Raty said. ”So we finally scored three on Canada. That doesn’t happen too often. If you keep believing in yourself, anything can happen.”

Ronja Savolainen scored twice, including the empty-netter, to seal it with 37 seconds left. Jenni Hiirikoski and Susanna Tapani also scored for Finland.

Jamie Rattray and Loren Gabel countered for the Canadians, who beat Finland 6-1 Tuesday in the group stage. Shannon Szabados stopped 15 shots in her first loss against Finland in 18 starts.

The Finns scored their first two goals on power plays and pulled ahead 3-2 when Tapani scored with 3:42 left in the second period.

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U.S. advances to IIHF Women’s World Championship semis with 4-0 win over Japan

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ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Kendall Coyne Schofield scored a tournament-leading fifth goal Thursday to help the United States beat Japan 4-0 and advance to the semifinals of the women’s world championship.

Cayla Barnes had a goal and an assist and Hilary Knight and Dani Cameranesi also scored for the Americans, who have won the last four world titles and seven of the last eight.

Maddie Rooney had 10 saves for her second shutout of the tournament.

”It was a different game than we’re used to,” Knight said. ”Japan showed up and they’re an extremely disciplined team. It’s fun to see how well they’ve done in this tournament and continue to do. But a win’s a win, and we got it.”

Japan reached the knockout round for the first time since it was instituted in 2011, while the U.S. was playing in their first quarterfinal after a change in the format meant that the top finisher in the preliminary rounds no longer receives a bye to the semifinals.

The Americans, who finished with 53 shots, took 22 of them in the first period and broke through when Knight scored on the rebound of Shelly Picard’s shot with 3:12 remaining.

Cameranesi scored the second goal on the power play with 10:38 left in the second period, barely beating Knight to the puck on a rebound in front of the crease. Barnes and Coyne Schofield, who extended her point streak to five games, finished off the scoring in the third.

”It was such a tough game, but a good challenge for us,” Japan captain Chiho Osawa said. ”It was a very good experience for us because we (hadn’t played) against the USA for 10 years.”

The United States will play Russia in the semifinals on Saturday. The Russians beat Switzerland 3-0 behind a goal and two assists from Anna Shokhina.

In another quarterfinal, Canada defeated Germany 5-0 as Blayre Turnbull scored a pair of goals.

Natalie Spooner, Brianne Jenner and Laura Stacey also scored for Canada. Brigette Lacquette had two assists and Emerance Maschmeyer had nine saves for the shutout in her second start of the tournament.

Canada will face Finland after the hosts ousted the Czech Republic 3-1, with veteran defender Jenni Hiirikoski scoring one goal and setting up the other two.

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U.S. women rout Russia 10-0 to wrap pool play at IIHF World Championship

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ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Kendall Coyne Schofield and Lee Stecklein scored two goals each, and the United States routed Russia 10-0 Tuesday in the final game of the preliminary round at the women’s world championship.

Annie Pankowski had three assists, and Alex Carpenter added two as 15 Americans had at least a point. The United States wrapped up pool play undefeated for a fourth straight world championship.

The U.S. will play Japan, a 3-2 winner over Sweden, in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Americans, the reigning Olympic champs, have won four straight world titles and seven of the last eight.

”We were excited to see so many players getting involved tonight, especially our defenders, who have had a tremendous impact so far in this tournament,” U.S. coach Bob Corkum said. ”While we will enjoy this victory tonight, we know we have our work cut out for us as we head into the playoff round and we’ll be ready for the next challenge.”

Amanda Kessel scored the first goal a couple minutes in, Cayla Barnes followed at 13:44 and Coyne Schofield stole the puck and scored 17 seconds later as the U.S. took a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Stecklein scored her first goal in IIHF tournament play at 8:18 of the second, making it 5-0. That forced Russian goalie Valeria Merkusheva to the bench with Anna Prugova replacing her in net. The U.S. wound up with four goals in the second and added three more in the third. Alex Rigsby made 12 saves for her third win in this tournament.

Canada beat Finland 6-1 to finish second in Group A with both teams 2-1-0. Loren Gabel scored two goals and had an assist as the Canadians chased goalie Noora Raty after Gabel’s second goal at 15:35 of the second. Raty gave up three goals on 30 shots. Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados made 22 saves to improve to 17-0 all-time against Finland.

The Czech Republic downed Germany 2-0 to finish atop Group B in the final games of the preliminary round.

Canada will play Germany and Finland will play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

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U.S. women shut out Switzerland 8-0 in pool play at IIHF World Championship

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ESPOO, Finland (AP) — Dani Cameranesi scored two goals and had an assist as the United States shut out Switzerland 8-0 Sunday at the women’s world championship.

Megan Keller and Amanda Kessel scored two goals apiece as the U.S. remains undefeated through three games and atop Group A. Alex Carpenter had a goal and an assist, Hilary Knight had a goal and Emily Pfalzer had two assists as 12 different Americans notched at least a point.

Carpenter’s goal at 3:41 of the first period was the first of three in the first for the U.S. The Americans added one in the second and finished with four more in the third despite having a goal deflected by Annie Pankowski off a shot by Megan Bozek waved off by officials.

Maddie Rooney got the shutout in her first appearance this tournament, though she made only six saves for the U.S.

The Americans, who have won four straight world championships and seven of the last eight, wrap up pool play Tuesday against Russia. The quarterfinals are Thursday.

”We stuck to our game plan, put a lot of pressure on the Swiss back end and we were rewarded with a win tonight,” U.S. coach Bob Corkum said. ”We’re going to enjoy some time off tomorrow and be ready to take on Russia on Tuesday.”

Janine Alder made 49 saves for Switzerland, the only team in Group A without a point so far.

Sweden edged France 2-1 earlier Sunday, moving to third in Group B with four points behind the Czech Republic (six) and Germany (five). Japan has one point and France is winless in three games.

Trailing 1-0 after one period, the Swedes got goals from Pernilla Winberg and Melinda Olsson in the second. Laura Escudero scored for the French. Sara Grahn stopped 19 of 20 shots for the win.

Canada, which lost 3-2 to the U.S. on Saturday, had a day off before back-to-back games against Russia and Finland. Canada, Finland and Russia were tied with three points each behind the Americans with six atop Group A.

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