Winter Olympics spoiler alert: US women's hockey
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
Story on U.S. vs. Russia in women's hockey:
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The young Russian women’s hockey team had no chance for a miracle on this ice. At least they got a little mercy from the mighty Americans.
Jenny Potter scored three goals to set an Olympic record with her second straight hat trick, captain Natalie Darwitz had five points and the United States routed Russia 13-0 Tuesday in another preliminary-round laugher at women’s hockey.
Twin sisters Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux also were among 10 goal-scorers for the Americans, who followed up their 12-1 opening win over China with another exhibition of their skill and depth over two dominant periods before cooling it down in the third.
American coach Mark Johnson is no stranger to the U.S.-Russia rivalry after scoring two goals in the Miracle on Ice game at Lake Placid six days shy of 30 years ago, but the most remarkable happening at UBC Thunderbird Arena was that the score wasn’t even worse.
Jessie Vetter made seven saves for the Americans, who led 12-0 after two periods before throttling down their offense, taking just two shots in the third. The hapless Russian team gave little help to its two backup goalies facing the loaded U.S. lineup.
“All we were trying to do was keep everyone involved and playing,” said four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero, who scored her second goal of the games. “We still had things we could work on while still respecting our opponent.”
The Russians took a long list of minor penalties while simply trying to keep up with the faster, stronger Americans, and the U.S. capitalized with seven power play goals — many within the first few seconds of the man-advantage.
After Canada outscored its first two opponents 28-1, the Americans have a 25-1 differential. Starting in the second period, the U.S. team cycled the puck, made extra passes on the power play and even made substitutions while in the offensive zone — but seemingly each time they flung a puck at the net, Russia’s goalies couldn’t handle it.
So the Americans took it a step further in the third period, taking just one shot in the first 16 minutes and finishing with two. The mostly Canadian crowd began to cheer whenever the Russians managed puck possession or anything resembling a rush, but they couldn’t connect.
The Russians didn’t help themselves by playing their two backups against the mighty Americans. Anna Prugova stopped 16 shots before Mariya Onolbaeva relieved in the second period with the U.S. up 10-0.
Even when the Russians made plays, they went horribly wrong: Lisa Chesson’s slap shot for the Americans’ 13th goal was tipped in by defenseman Alena Khomich, who somehow batted the puck out of the air and past Onolbaeva.
The Americans scored just 2:19 in when Monique Lamoureux fired a low shot through her twin sister’s screen in front for her first goal of the Olympics. Potter then scored a picturesque short-handed goal, nimbly slipping the puck between defenseman Alena Khomich’s legs and breaking in alone on Prugova.
Darwitz’s power-play slap shot put the Americans up 9-0 before the midway point of the second period. After Darwitz’s short-handed goal 3:10 later, Prugova was replaced by Onolbaeva — and Potter completed her hat trick 46 seconds later.
The Americans played without forward Erika Lawler, who bruised her ankle in a tumble into the boards Sunday against China. Johnson expects Lawler to play Thursday.