International Ice Hockey Federation

Same old song and dance

U.S. hammers Russia to clinch SF bye

Published 31.03.2016 19:30 GMT-7 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Same old song and dance
KAMLOOPS, BC - MARCH 31: USA's Monique Lamoureux #7 scores a first period goal against Russia's Maria Sorokina #33 while Anna Shukina #21 looks on during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The United States clinched the top seed in Group A and a semi-final berth with a 8-0 pounding of Russia. Monique Lamoureux and Hilary Knight both scored twice.

Kendall Coyne, Megan Keller, Shiann Darkangelo, and Anne Pankowski also scored for the Americans. It was another methodical, efficient performance at the Sandman Centre.

Last year, the U.S. hammered Russia 9-2 in round-robin play and 13-1 in the semi-finals. The outclassed Russians have never beaten the U.S. in 11 tries at this tournament.

Looking ahead to the semi-finals, Lamoureux said: "We have two days to prepare. Not sure who we’re going to play yet, but I think we haven’t played our best 60 minutes yet. Our goal is to get better each and every game."

U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley recorded her first tournament shutout as her team earned a 39-16 edge in shots on goal. The U.S. has used all three of its goalies in three straight wins.

"I just got the chills thinking about it," said Coyne of Hensley. "She definitely gave us energy all game long, just looking back at her. I was excited for her. I think everyone was excited for her. First career start, first career win, first career shutout. She did it all!"

Russia will now set its sights on surviving the quarter-finals. It has twice won a medal at this tournament, taking bronze in 2001 and 2013.

At 5:07, the U.S. took a 1-0 lead as Coyne dipsy-doodled past the Russian defence and scored on an in-close shot.

Just 1:22 later, Monique Lamoureux cut down the right side and fooled Russian starter Maria Sorokina with a pretty forehand deke. Russian coach Mikhail Chekhanov had seen enough and yanked Sorokina in favor of back-up Nadezhda Morosva.

It was 3-0 for the Americans at 14:19 when Keller scored with a rising wrister from the top of the right faceoff circle.

The Russians settled down and played a better defensive game in the first half of the second period as the Americans also seemed to compete with a little less urgency.

But in the end, a three-goal lead certainly didn't prove to be "the worst lead in hockey" for the defending World Champions.

At 4:54 of the third, Lamoureux got her second of the night with the man advantage, using a forehand move virtually identical to her first-period tally.

"It wasn’t the same goalie each time, but yeah, I guess if you watched one, you basically saw the other," Lamoureux admitted.

Darkangelo made it 5-0 at 6:19 with her first career Women's Worlds goal, going to the net and converting Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson's pass.

"It’s really exciting," said Darkangelo. "I just drove to the net, and Jocelyne made a beautiful pass over and I tipped it in. It’s easy when you’re playing with talented players who set you up like that."

Halfway through the period, Knight cruised straight down the middle and beat Morozova high to the glove side for a 6-0 edge. She made it 7-0 with her team-leading fifth goal of the tournament at 16:17.

Pankowski rounded out the scoring with another power play marker with 2:46 left, skating unobstructed into the high slot and whipping it home.

"Something we’ve really focused on is getting better every game," said Coyne. "I think we’re definitely doing that. We’re enjoying each other and having fun, and I think that’s what it’s all about."