BURLINGTON – Monique Lamoureux-Kolls welcomed her husband back from overseas duty with a six-point night, including a hat trick in an easy 11-0 win over Finland at the Gutterson Fieldhouse. Taylor Kolls arrived in the afternoon and watched his wife's terrific performance.
Linemate Kelli Stack also had three goals and three assists while the third member of the troika, Monique's sister Jocelyne, had three assists. Brianne McLaughlin stopped just nine shots for the shutout. The U.S. fired 54 shots.
The win gives the Americans first place in Group A and a bye to the semi-finals with Canada while Finland plays Sweden tomorrow in one of two quarter-finals.
"He's been in the Marine Corps for four years now, so today was his first official day back in the States as a civilian," Lamoureux-Kolls explained. "I actually haven't seen him yet. He was in Hawaii, and he did a tour in Afghanistan about a year and a half ago. We usually go about five to seven months without seeing each other."
As for the game, Lamoureux-Kolls was surprised by the ease of the game. "Finland is usually a pretty tough team to play against. They're usually pretty physical, but we were ready. We have something to prove this year."
The U.S. took control of the game with two goals in the first period. Lamoureux-Kolls scored on the power play just five seconds after Anne Helin had been sent off for tripping.
Then, at 11:47, Kelli Stack made it 2-0 with an even-strength goal. The Finns didn't give up, though, but they were simply unable to penetrate the physical and fast American defence.
The home side was playing before an impressive crowd and gave it something more to cheer for in the second, scoring four times in the first six minutes to blow the game open. Goalie Isabella Portnoj could hardly be blamed for any of the markers.
Coach Pekka Hamalainen removed Portnoj in a merciful move and inserted Meeri Raisanen who allowed two more goals in quick succession. Stack had two of the six goals in the second to give her the hat trick, while Lamoureux-Kolls, the tournament's leading scorer now has 14 points in her first three games.
"I think it makes everyone calm down on the bench and gives us that extra confidence that we need to keep going," Stack said of the explosive start to the second. "It's nice to get that lead in the first because then you can just relax. You don't have that sense of urgency as much."
The Americans finished off with three goals in the third. Four of Finland's nine penalties were for body checking, and the Americans scored four times with the extra man.