United States blanks Finland 3-0 to advance to women's world hockey final

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CALGARY — The United States advanced to the women's world hockey championship final with a 3-0 win over Finland in Monday's semifinal.

The Americans play for a sixth straight gold medal Tuesday when they face the winner of a semifinal between Canada and Switzerland. The U.S. has won eight of the last nine world championships.

Alex Carpenter, Abbey Murphy and Kendall Coyne Schofield, with an empty-net goal, scored in a rematch of the 2019 final, in which the U.S. edged the host Finns 2-1 in a shootout in Espoo.

American goaltender Nicole Hensley posted a 14-save shutout. Finnish counterpart Anni Keisala stopped 31 of 33 shots in the loss.

The Finns will play for bronze Tuesday.

The U.S. finished second in Pool A at 3-1 ahead of Finland at 2-2. The U.S. women thumped Japan 10-2 and the Finns got by the Czech Republic 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

With Keisala out of Finland's net for an extra attacker, Coyne Schofield scored into the empty net at 17:08 of the third period.

Down two goals with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, Finland also pulled Keisala during a power-play for two extra attackers, but didn't generate a goal from it.

The U.S. led 2-0 and outshot the Finns 25-7 heading into the third period.

Murphy drove in from the wing and tucked the puck under Keisala to score at 15:17 of the second. Carpenter re-directed a Lee Stecklein shot from the blue-line by Keisala at 10:55.

Keisala held the Finns in the game stopping all 15 shots she saw in the first.

Her teammates didn't get a shot on net during two minutes of a five-on-three early in the period, but generated a couple scoring chances later in the period.

Susanna Tapani put the puck off the post with five minutes remaining. Elisa Holopainin shot her own rebound just wide of the far corner of the U.S. net during a power-play .

Russia and Japan will play off for fifth place Tuesday with a berth in Pool A in the next world championship at stake.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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