Amanda Kessel helped the United States women’s hockey team to a resounding 9-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday, which confirmed their progression to the Winter Olympics’ semifinals.
USA were five-nil up after just the first period, and this triumph means that they only needed two out of their three round-robin games to clinch their spot in the knock-out rounds.
Switzerland actually made a decent start to the encounter, however once Monique Lamoereux scored the opening goal after 9:20 the floodgates almost immediately opened. Lamoereux benefited from a sublime pass from her sister Jocelyne for her effort, which she blasted past Swiss goalie Florence Schelling.
Switzerland soon buckled under the United States’ pressure and Brianna Decker managed to squeeze in a second, just 47 seconds later. And then, extraordinarily, only a further eight seconds were needed for Kessel to notch her own spell-binding effort.
These three goals were the fastest trifecta of strikes in women’s Olympic hockey history, but Katey Stone’s team weren’t done yet and Hilary Knight and Kessel, with her second goal, both scored before the end of the first period to make it 5-0.
These five goals in 6 minutes and 22 seconds were the fastest in U.S history, with USA Hockey Magazine tweeting:
It’s now 5-0 as the U.S. has scored the fastest five goals (6:22) in U.S. history. Previous record was 7:31. #sochi2014
— USA Hockey Magazine (@USAHMagazine) February 10, 2014
The second period saw the Americans continue their onslaught, however they only had a second goal for Monique Lamoureux to show for their efforts. In the third period, Kendall Coyne extended the rout with her own two strikes, before Alex Carpenter completed the scoring in the final stages.
Overall the Americans had 53 shots on goal in comparison to Switzerland’s 10, but Kessel will be disappointed that she didn’t register a hat-trick as she had three other goals ruled out.
After the game, Kessel was proud of the team’s display, and she noted, “I think we suck all the energy out of the other team. We just keep pounding them and pounding them.”
Kessel spent most of 2013 recuperating from injury, and she now feels more comfortable on the ice after the USA’s two opening victories in Sochi. “I’m taking a little bit of shorter shrifts,” she stated. “You don’t see the games as well when you first come back, so the preliminaries have been really good for me.”
Canada are expected to join the United States in the semi-finals on Monday, and a victory over Finland will clinch their spot.