GANGNEUNG (AFP-Jiji) — Four-time defending women’s ice hockey champion Canada stretched its Winter Olympic win streak to 21 games on Sunday, blanking the Olympic Athletes from Russia 5-0 in their Pyeongchang Games opener.
It was Canada’s first Olympic game since edging the United States 3-2 in the 2014 final, when 2018 captain Marie-Phillip Poulin netted a last-minute equalizer and over-time gold decider in that thriller.
The world champion Americans were tested in the other round-robin group opener, but Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Kendall Coyne netted second-period goals to rally the U.S. team to a 3-1 win over Finland, which got 39 saves from goaltender Noora Raty.
“It was a good start for us,” said Lamoureux-Morando. “We know we are going to face some tough goalies.”
If Canada beats Finland and the Americans defeat the Russians in group play Tuesday, the two North American powers would clinch semifinal berths before renewing their rivalry in the final round-robin game on Thursday.
Americans have won eight of the past 10 world titles, beating Canada in each final, but their lone Olympic crown came in 1998 at Nagano.Speech