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GAMEDAY: Team USA Set For Semifinal Tilt With Czechia

By USA Hockey, 09/02/22, 5:30PM EDT


U.S. to play for a spot in the gold medal game

HERNING, Denmark – After a record-breaking 12-1 win in the quarterfinal round, the U.S. turns its attention to Czechia in a semifinal matchup on Saturday. Puck drop is slated for 2 p.m. local time, 8 a.m. ET and can be viewed live on NHL Network. 


Today's matchup against Czechia marks the semifinal meeting for the two teams following Team USA's 12-1 victory in the quarterfinals. The twelve-goal output marks the most goals scored by the U.S. in a single WWC game since April 3, 2015, when the U.S. topped Russia, 13-1, in the semifinals of the 2015 IIHF Women's World Championship. The U.S. enters the semifinals having outscored its opponents 42 to 4.


Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) tallied two points (1G, 1A), breaking the IIHF all-time Women's World Championship point record as the U.S. topped Hungary, 12-1, in the quarterfinal round of competition. Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) and Hannah Bilka (Coppell, Texas) each recorded hat tricks, as Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) contributed five assists as 15 Team USA skaters tallied at least a point in the victory. Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) recorded eight saves, as Aerin Frankel (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) also stopped a shot in the win. The U.S. outshot Hungary, 69-10.


Today marks the first-ever Women's World Championship meeting between the two teams. The U.S. and Czechia have only met at the Olympics, one time, and the Under-18 WWC, 12 times, before. Most recently the teams squared off during the quarterfinals of the 2022 Winter Olympics, with Team USA coming out with a 4-1 victory. 


Team USA holds a 15-1-1 (W-L-T) record in semifinal competition at Women's Worlds, having reached the semifinals in each Women's World Championship. The U.S.'s lone loss came against Canada in 2009, but since they already earned a bid into the gold-medal game, the loss did not eliminate the team.


In just her fifth game as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team, Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) recorded her first career international hat trick, capping off her four-point evening. Heise currently leads the tournament in points (13), goals (5) and is tied for second in assists (8). Teammate Hannah Bilka (Coppell, Texas) also recorded a hat trick in the victory, capping off a five-point showing. Bilka sits third in points (11), first in goals (5) and fourth in assists (6).

Heise and Bilka's hat tricks marked the first U.S. hat trick at a Women'sWorld Championship since Brianna Decker netted three goals in a 13-1 victory over Russia in the semifinals of the 2015 WWC.

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