USA murskasi Venäjän
Kirjoittaja: Lucas Aykroyd|09 HUHTI 2019
USA:n Megan Bozek (#9) juhlii Annie Pankowskin (#27) ja Hayley Scamurran (#16) kanssa maalia Venäjää vastaan.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images

USA:n kapteeni Kendall Coyne Schofield ja puolustaja Lee Stecklein onnistuivat molemmat kahdesti, kun USA päätti täydellisen A-sarjansa paukuttaen 10-0 voiton Venäjää vastaan.

USA:n pelit jatkuvat Japania vastaan neljännesfinaalissa torstaina, Venäjä puolestaan kohtaa Sveitsin.

Japani ja USA ovat kohdanneet ainoastaan kahdesti aikuisten tasolla - v. 1998 Naganon olympialaisissa, jossa USA voitti 10-0 ja v. 2009 Naisten MM-kisoissa Hämeenlinnassa, jossa USA:n voittolukemat olivat 8-0.

A-ryhmää johtavien yhdysvaltalaisten maaliero on neljän voitetun ottelun jälkeen 27-4. Päävalmentaja Bob Corkumin tie on ollut sileä. 

Brianna Deckerin tilastomerkinnät ottelussa olivat 1+1 ja Amanda Kessel, Cayla Barnes, Hilary Knight, Megan Bozek, ja Jesse Compher tekivät maalin naiseen. Annie Pankowskin saldo oli kolme syöttöä ja Alex Carpenterin kaksi. Alex Rigsby maalissa pelasi uransa kolmannen nollapelin MM-kisoissa laukausten mennessä 44-12 USA:lle.

USA:lle sopisi hyvin keskinäinen peli myös semifinaaleissa, sillä Venäjä on hävinnyt kaikki 14 keskinäistä peliä MM-kisoissa maalieron ollessa 130-8.

Venäjä ei näytä pysyvän nopeiden pohjois-amerikkalaisten tahdissa. Se nähtiin jo Kanada-pelissä ja tässä pelissä se oli vielä ilmeisempää.

Yhdysvallat - Venäjä - 2019 Jääkiekon Naisten MM-kisat
09 HUHTI 2019

The U.S. showcased its trademark playmaking on its opening marker at 2:07. From behind the goal line, Kelly Pannek found Carpenter in the left faceoff circle, and she sent it to Kessel at the edge of the crease for the tap-in.

At 13:44, defender Barnes, a 20-year-old 2018 Olympic gold medalist who entered this game with three assists, waltzed in and flung a high shot past Russian starter Valentina Merkusheva’s blocker for her first career Women’s Worlds goal.

Just 17 seconds later, Coyne Schofield capitalized on a Russian turnover and blitzed in to score five-hole.

In the second period, the U.S. defence continued to get involved. First, Bozek fired a howitzer from the blue line past Merkusheva’s glove at 3:50 for a 4-0 lead. Then, Stecklein pinched in to convert Sydney Brodt’s centering pass from the corner at 8:18. It was Stecklein’s first goal in 22 career Women's Worlds games (in fact, her first ever in IIHF competition), and she still had more in store.

Coyne Schofield was happy to see her Minnesota Whitecaps teammate get that first goal: "I think it comes as a surprise for a lot of us, just because of what she contributes every day to this program. It's awesome to see a win like this, for everybody to contribute, and going into the quarter-finals."

"It felt really good," Stecklein said. "It always feels good to score. I will say, though, that the team internally, you never feel like you're less than if you haven't gotten one. We're really good about supporting every role, no matter what it is. It's something we work really hard at to make sure everyone feels valued. I've always felt valued, but it is still really fun to score. It puts a smile on my face."

Knight made it 6-0 on a Carpenter set-up at 12:41, although that was only verified after a lengthy video review. 

Russia’s being thoroughly outmatched was underscored by the fact it was already 6-0 when the Russians took their first two minors of the game back-to-back late in the second period. Poor discipline was not to blame.

Coyne Schofield made it 7-0 with 53 seconds left in the middle frame. The Americans moved the puck around with magical flair, as Decker sent it down to Pankowski and she found the speedy captain for a hair-trigger release.

Coyne Schofield, who currently leads her team with seven points, said there was no room for complacency: "There's so much to do to get better. We didn't spend much time in our D-zone, so I'm sure we'll work on that. But it's taking away the positives, looking at the film, and seeing what we can do better, because you can always get better, especially at this level."

In the third period, Decker showed the benefit of going to the dirty areas as she got flattened in front but converted a nice Pankowski feed at 6:01 preceded by some dipsy-doodling. Veteran defender Kacey Bellamy, returning to the lineup after resting against Switzerland, drew the second assist.

Stecklein made it 9-0 at 12:11 on a video-reviewed play. And Samoskevich added her second of the tournament with 2:48 left to round out the scoring.

"They have quick feet," Vafina said of the Americans. "We need to adjust to that game. Probably we need more games with them during the season, maybe. I am really amazed by their game. We still have a lot of work to do."

It was not the largest margin of defeat ever in a Russia-U.S. game. The Americans beat Russia 15-0 at the 2000 Women's Worlds.

At least the Russians didn't allow the U.S. to score twice in six seconds, as Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson did in Olympic record-setting fashion last year in a 5-0 group win prior to capturing the PyeongChang gold medal.

Coach Alexei Chistyakov's group will just have to put this shellacking behind them as they prepare to meet the Swiss, whom they edged 2-1 in the round-robin.

Yhdysvallat - Venäjä - 2019 Jääkiekon Naisten MM-kisat