SOCHI, Russia — Megan Bozek, Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker each had a goal and two assists to help the United States beat Sweden 6-1 Feb. 17 to earn a spot in the gold medal game at the Sochi Olympics.
Jesse Vetter needed just eight saves to help the Americans clinch no worse than a silver medal. The U.S. has medaled in every Winter Games since women’s hockey was added in 1998, and just once — with a loss to Sweden in the 2006 semifinals — failed to reach the Olympic championship game.
The United States will play the winner of the late semifinal between Canada and Switzerland for the gold medal. A victory by Canada would set up a rematch of the 1998, 2002 and ’10 finals.
The U.S. won the gold medal in Nagano then took silver in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. Canada also won a game in the preliminary round 3-2.
Anna Borgqvist scored on a deflected shot past Vetter with just under seven minutes remaining to spoil the shutout.
The U.S. outshot Sweden 70-9. Valentina Wallner made 42 saves for Sweden before she was pulled with 7:29 left in the second period. Kim Martin Hasson, the first woman to play goal in five Olympics, stopped 22 of 23 shots the rest of the way.
Alex Carpenter and Kacey Bellamy scored in a span of 66 seconds in the first period, and Amanda Kessel gave the Americans a 3-0 lead before Sweden got off its first shot. The U.S. outshot Sweden 29-1 in the first period.
(JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer)