Monday, February 13, 2006
Finland, Sweden win to set field for women's hockey semifinals
TURIN, Italy -- Finland and Sweden won their second straight
games Monday to finalize the semifinal field for the Olympic
women's hockey tournament, even with four preliminary-round games
still to play.
Therese Sjolander had three goals and an assist to lead seven
Swedish players with multipoint games in a 11-0 victory over Italy.
Karoliina Rantamaki had a goal and an assist in Finland's 4-0 win
As expected, Sweden and Finland will join Canada and the U.S. --
all four teams have 2-0 records -- in the semifinals Friday. The
teams also will meet Tuesday to conclude the preliminary round,
with Finland taking on the Americans and Sweden facing Canada.
Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia remain winless in the
Italy, which still hasn't scored its first Olympic goal, managed
just four shots against Swedish goalie Cecilia Andersson -- none in
the third period -- despite a vocal home crowd. Italian goalie
Debora Montanari grabbed the game puck and safeguarded it behind
her shin pad as a souvenir after the final buzzer.
Finland won with three third-period goals, finally blowing open
the tournament's tightest game to date. Florence Schelling made 37
saves in the second straight outstanding game by a Swiss goalie.