Canadian women take 1st Olympic showdown against United States 2-1

Canadian women take 1st Olympic showdown against United States 2-1

Canadian women take 1st Olympic showdown against United States 2-1

With the victory Canada sails into the knockout round with a flawless 3-0 mark sitting top of Group A followed by the 2-1. The team also have the top penalty-killing unit, having yet to allow a goal while down a player.

The Americans have not taken home gold since 1998, while Canada is here looking for a fifth straight. However, their effort in the final 20 minutes didn't get rewarded, as Canada goaltender Genevieve Lacasse had America's number for the entire game.

Both Team USA and Canada have clinched byes to the semifinals. The highest ranked teams - Canada, the U.S., Finland and the Olympic Athletes From Russia (OAR) - are in Group A, while the next four highest-ranked teams - Switzerland, Sweden, Japan and the combined Korea team - are in Group B. Veteran Meghan Agosta got things started just 35 seconds into the game, depositing the puck past Raty after taking a ideal two-on-one pass from Melodie Daoust.

Outshout 32-23 by Canada, the Finns had their chances.

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Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Hockey Canada) had shutout the Finnish squad until the 7:17 mark in the third period when Riikka Vanilla's third swat at the puck managed to get past her. The Finns, who lost 3-1 to the its opener, are two-time bronze medallists.

"Every line has their own kind of chemistry", said Agosta, who returned the favour with an assist on Daoust's goal in the second period. They defeated Finland 3-1 and the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation 5-0.

The Americans, however, could not complete the comeback with the game ending in a wild pile-up around the Canadian net. However, Team USA will have to face the victor of the game between Switzerland and the fourth-place team in Group A. And considering how risky Alina Muller is, that's not a guaranteed win for Team USA.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin put Canada up 2-0 late in the first when she roofed a backhand that exited the net so quickly officials missed it and play carried on. Since it became an Olympics sport, the two countries have fought relentlessly.

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"I think we did a good job keeping them to the outside", Lacasse said.

The Canadian women controlled much of the game and handled a Finnish pushback in the third.

Sparked by a Meghan Agosta goal 35 seconds into the first period, the four-time defending Olympic champions defeated Finland 4-1 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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