The US women continued their domination of the game this morning, breaking several records in a 9-0 win over Switzerland with three players tallying two-goal games (Monique Lamoureux, Amanda Kessel, and Kendall Coyne), six different goal scorers total (M. Lamoureux, Decker, Kessel, Knight, Coyne, and Carpenter), and a shutout for Molly Schaus, who made 10 saves in her Sochi debut.
Coach Katey Stone once again opened with the line of Kelli Stack, Alex Carpenter, and Hilary Knight, and the US team was very aggressive to start the game. Knight nearly repeated her game-opening goal from the Finland game Saturday, but Schelling had a very impressive showing early. Alex Carpenter got tagged with an offensive zone penalty for hooking 3:30 into the first and the US went to the penalty kill, but Molly Schaus stood tall and kept the score tied at 0-0 despite a few good chances by the Swiss, who carried the play for a while before the US team finally seemed to wake up.
Three great scoring chances from the Kessel-Coyne-Decker line were quickly followed by the game’s first goal from Monique Lamoureux off a beautiful pass from sister Jocelyne when Monique was simply given too much time and space in the Swiss zone. The goals – and the records – came quickly from there, Hilary Knight set up Amanda Kessel on a line change and the rebound was swatted in by Brianna Decker to put the US up 2-0, and Kessel quickly followed that with a goal of her own, passing the puck to herself off the boards in an impressive play, cutting off the Swiss defender, and putting it behind Schelling.
After a few good chances from the Swiss team and some extended pressure from the Lamoureux twins and captain Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight picked up a loose puck and backhanded it past Schelling’s glove, making it 4-0 in favor of the US. The US then got their first chance on the power play when Forster took a body-checking penalty, displaying clear intent to play the body over the puck. This turned out not to be her best plan, as less than 30 seconds into the power play Brianna Decker set Amanda Kessel up for her second goal of the game, a beautiful backdoor one-timer.
With the US up 5-0 at the end of the first period, the team had officially broken the record for the fastest 5 goals, scoring them all within 6:22. The previous record was 7:31. The last 3 of those goals broke another record for the fastest 3 consecutive goals, getting them in 55 seconds, the previous fastest being 98 seconds. The final record broken by the US team was the fastest consecutive 2 goals, scoring them 8 seconds apart. The previous record was 21 seconds.
The second period wasn’t nearly as exciting, with only one goal being scored – by, once again, Monique Lamoureux from Jocelyne. The US penalty kill was tested early in the second when Julie Chu, an important penalty killer, took a high sticking penalty and left the US shorthanded, but they managed to kill it off thanks in no small part to a terrific shorthanded chance by Duggan that started an extended period of shorthanded pressure from the US, including Schelling denying a wicked wrister from Hilary Knight. The US would go on the power play again when Benz got a delay of game penalty, but the Swiss team killed it off, though any momentum they may have gained from that stalled when Monique Lamoureux scored her second goal, making it 6-0 USA. The period ended with Schelling denying an absolute bomb of a shot from Megan Bozek.
In the third, there was a bit of confusion early on when it appeared that Kendall Coyne had scored – though there was celebration and the goal light went off, play was not halted and the sequence continued. The US got it back, though, returning to Switzerland’s end fairly quickly and notching another goal by Amanda Kessel that wouldn’t count once play was reviewed and Coyne’s goal counted. It was the second time out of three in the game that Kessel would be denied a hat trick for one reason or another, whether it be the goal being credited to a teammate or the goal being called off.
Nearly a minute was put back on the board after Coyne’s goal was reviewed, and the US kept up the tempo. A very persistent shift by Megan Bozek led to what looked like yet another hat trick-sealing goal for Amanda Kessel, but it turned out that Kendall Coyne was the one that finally tapped the puck past Schelling. Benz took another penalty for Switzerland, this one for body-checking, and the US went back on the power play, receiving a 5-on-3 not long after when Staenz hauled down a US player and went off for tripping. Switzerland managed to kill both penalties, though, due in no small part to an absolutely stellar performance from Florence Schelling, who was barely getting any help from her defense today.
A gorgeous pass by Josephine Pucci coming from her own end lead to an Alex Carpenter rush, and Carpenter deked backhand, burying the puck high behind Schelling to seal the US win – and the Schaus shutout – with their 9th goal.
At 2-0, the US women are in position for a spot in the medal round regardless of what happens in the rest of the round robin. They will face their first real test Wednesday morning at 7:30 EST when they face Canada for the first time in Sochi. The US won the last four contests of the pre-Olympic tour, but it’s been a while since then. Both teams have had plenty of time to work and reconfigure, and the US women have vowed not to get cocky, refusing to look too far ahead and refusing to underestimate any opponent.