NEWS
02/19/2018 10:12 EST | Updated 02/19/2018 10:57 EST

Canada's Women's Hockey Team To Face Team USA For Olympic Gold In PyeongChang

Canada blanked Olympic Athletes from Russia 5-0 to earn a spot in final

PYEONGCHANG — Canada's women's hockey team will play for Olympic gold again.

The Canadians blanked Olympic Athletes from Russia 5-0 in Monday's semifinal.

Canada faces the United States in Thursday's final and will attempt to win a fifth straight gold.

"On one hand it's like any other hockey tournament. On the other hand, it is our Stanley Cup," Canadian forward Brianne Jenner said. "It's what we dream about since we're little girls."

Jennifer Wakefield led Canada with a pair of goals. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Emily Clark and Rebecca Johnston also scored.

Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados stopped 14 shots for the shutout and her second win of the tournament.

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Team Canada prepares to play Olympic Athletes from Russia in their semi-final game.

Russian goalie Valeria Tarakanova stopped 27-of-31 shots before being replaced by Nadezhda Alexandrova in the third period. Alexandrova made 15 saves.

The Russians will play Finland for bronze.

Since women's hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, Canada and the U.S. have met in every final except 2006 when the Americans were upset by Sweden in the semifinal.

Canada will try to extend its gold-medal run to five straight in Thursday's final that starts at 11:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

"A battle for the ages as usual," Jenner said. "It's one of the best rivalries in hockey. There's not much more you can say."

Only the U.S. women's basketball team has a longer streak of consecutive Olympic gold medals at six.

The U.S. won the inaugural women's hockey event in 1998. The Americans have won seven of the last eight women's world championships and beat Canada in the final every time.

The U.S. narrowly lost the gold to Canada four years ago in Sochi, Russia. Poulin scored the tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation and then the overtime winner.

AFP/Getty Images
Team Canada celebrates winning the women's semi-final match. They'll face long-time rivals Team USA later in the week.

The Americans advanced to the final in Pyeongchang with a 5-0 semifinal win over Finland.

The Canadians opened the tournament shutting out the Russians 5-0. The semifinal followed a similar plot of Canada wearing down the Russian defence.

"We just kind of tried to build momentum to be confident going into that final and that's what we did," Wakefield said.

The game ended on a combative note as Russian forward Yevgenia Dyupina steamrolled Szabados behind Canada's net with a minute and a half left in the game.

That prompted the ire of Canadian defender Brigette Lacquette who took a minor penalty for roughing, while Dyupina served a double minor.

"I'm fine," Szabados said. "I was trying to skate to the bench because they were getting a penalty and I didn't want us to take one.

"I was trying to tell Brigette near the end of the game 'we've got a big one coming up. We need you for that one.'"

Canada's Medal Winners At The PyeongChang Olympics

After going scoreless on four power-play chances, Johnston got one in a goal-mouth scramble at 14:08 of the third period.

"We need that power play to get going to win in the final," Wakefield said.

Nadezhda took over in goal for Russia after Clark scored Canada's fourth goal at 2:30. Wakefield fooled Tarakanova with a sharp-angled shot at 1:59 for her second of the game.

Poulin made it 2-0 at 3:10 of the second period. The captain put a backhand over Tarakanova's glove on a feed from Melodie Daoust.

Wakefield beat Tarakanova glove side at 1:50 of the opening period on a pass from behind the net by Natalie Spooner.

More from the Olympics:


The Canadian women played their first game in the 10,000-seat Gangneung Hockey Centre after their three pool games at the smaller Kwandong Hockey Centre.

The Russian team is not allowed to wear their traditional red, white and blue in Pyeongchang as part of the punishment meted out by the International Olympic Committee for alleged state-sponsored doping in Sochi.

The women wore red and white Monday, but had a vocal band of supporters in full tricolour tirelessly waving Russian flags.