Defending champion Canada beat 2010 Vancouver bronze victor Finland 4-1, while the three-time Olympic silver medalist Americans showed no mercy to the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) with a 5-0 victory.
Since they began in 1990, the two teams have played in every final, with Canada winning 10 and the US eight, including the last four. 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.
With both North American teams having booked their ticket to the semifinals - the Americans' 5-0 win over the Russian entry in the late Pool A game ensured that - the final preliminary-round game between the two women's hockey heavyweights Thursday will be an interesting appetizer before their expected Olympic final showdown.
It's one of the greatest rivalries in sports: Team USA vs Canada in women's hockey. Veteran Meghan Agosta got things started just 35 seconds into the game, depositing the puck past Raty after taking a flawless two-on-one pass from Melodie Daoust. Canada outshot Finland 32-23 for the game. Riikka Valila added a third period goal for Finland at the 7:17 mark to break the Shannon Szabados shutout.
"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. The U.S. fell behind Finland in their matchup and needed an empty-net goal to record a 3-1 victory. "It doesn't matter who puts the puck in the net as long as we're successful at the end of the game". The official immediately signaled no goal. The Canadians also had two goals disallowed earlier in a game that showed just how far these two teams are above the rest of the field - and how much they want to beat each other.
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"She played outstanding for us", Schuler said.
Daoust finally gave Canada a 3-0 advantage in the second period, beating Raty with a wrister from the top of the right circle at 8:19.
"Nope we're focused on the things that we can control, and certainly those games that we played in the past have absolutely nothing to do with our future".
"I think it let everybody see on our team where we are at and what we can do".
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.