VANCOUVER, British Columbia – U.S. defenseman Kerry Weiland got a little ahead of herself Monday after the women’s hockey team beat Sweden 9-1 to reach the gold-medal game.
After four games of not looking ahead, the Americans now can.
“It’s a dream come true to be playing Canada,” Weiland said before catching herself.
Canada hadn’t yet played Finland when Weiland began talking about the game hockey fans long have been anticipating. The Canadians later did what they were supposed to do, beating Finland 5-0 to set up the showdown between the U.S. and Canada on Thursday night.
Only once has the women’s Olympic hockey final not featured the U.S. vs. Canada. That came four years ago when the Americans were upset by Sweden 3-2 in a shootout in the semifinals.
On the 30th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice,” the U.S. women’s team made sure there wasn’t a repeat as the Americans outshot the Swedes 46-12. The Americans had 13 players with at least one point. Forward Monique Lamoureux had a hat trick, and defenseman Caitlin Chow had a goal and an assist.
“I don’t really like to think of it as revenge,” forward Julie Chu said. “I think you just learn from your past. One of the things that we’re learning from 2006 is that we have to stay in the present moment, make sure we go out there and play shift-by-shift and make sure we don’t let ourselves get ahead of the game.”
The U.S. outscored its four Olympic opponents – China, Russia, Finland and Sweden – 42-2. Both the goals came on power plays.
But the Americans know their next game won’t be that easy.
The U.S. has beaten the Canadians for the last two world titles, which is why the Americans are ranked No. 1 in the world. But Canada beat the Americans five consecutive times in exhibition games leading up to the Games.