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U.S. stops Canada in final prelim game

By USA Hockey, 02/14/98, 11:45AM MST


NAGANO, Japan -- In a preview of the gold medal matchup, the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team erupted for six unanswered goals in the third period to drop Canada, 7-4, at the XVIIIth Olympic Winter Games here Saturday evening. The U.S. victory, which came in the final preliminary round game for both teams, improved Team USA's record to 5-0-0, while Canada fell to 4-1-0.

 and A.J. Mleczko (Nantucket, Mass.) assisted on two consecutive goals, including the game-winner, to lead the USA.


Canada opened scoring in the game on a power-play goal by forward Lori Dupuis at the 3:01 mark in the first period. With 40 seconds remaining in the first period, Team USA capitalized on a power-play opportunity to tie the score, 1-1. On the play, Granato tipped in a rebound for an unassisted goal at 19:20.


 comeback with an equal-strength goal at 7:05. Skating on the power play, Granato one-timed a cross-ice feed from Gretchen Ulion (Marlborough, Conn.) to record her second goal of the game at 10:57 and cut Canada's lead to one. She then assisted on Jennifer Schmidgall's (Edina, Minn.) power-play tally at 12:25 to tie the score, 4-4.

 Baker added insurance goals to make the final score 7-4.


Team USA goaltender Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.I.) was inserted in net midway through the second period and stopped 22 shots on the way to capturing her third victory in the tournament. Canada's goaltender, Reddon, made 23 saves in the loss.




Scoring Summary

Canada 1-0-3 -- 4
USA 1-0-6 -- 7

First Period -- Scoring: 1, CAN, Dupuis (Sunohara), 3:01 (pp). 2, USA, Granato (unassisted), 19:20 (pp).


Penalties: Merz, USA (interference), 1:38; Heaney, CAN (interference), 5:43; Dunn, USA (tripping), 11:00; Dupuis, CAN (body checking), 11:44; Mleczko, USA (body checking), 14:20; Diduck, CAN (holding), 17:47.

 checking), 17:05; Movsessian, USA (high sticking, double minor), 19:56.


Third Period -- Scoring: 3, CAN, Dupuis (Brisson), 1:24 (pp). 4, CAN, Hefford (Dupuis), 5:28 (pp). 5, CAN, Brisson (Wilson, Wickenheiser), 5:23. 6, USA, Baker (King), 7:05. 7, USA, Granato (Ulion, Mounsey), 10:57 (pp). 8, USA, Schmidgall (Granato), 12:25 (pp). 9, USA, Dunn (Mleczko), 12:48. 10, USA, Brown-Miller (Mleczko), 17:06. 11, USA, Baker (unassisted), 18:58 (empty net). Penalties: Baker, USA (tripping), 3:48; Ruggiero, USA (body checking), 4:31; Bye, USA (high sticking), 8:08; Hefford, CAN (body checking), 9:02; Brisson, CAN (slashing), 10:35; Diduck, CAN (body checking), 15:06.


Shots On Goal -- CAN 6-8-21 -- 35; USA 6-11-13 -- 30.


Goaltenders -- CAN, Reddon (29 shots, 23 saves); USA, Tueting (10 shots, 9 saves), DeCosta at 10:37 of second (25 shots, 22 saves).