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Team USA Blanks Team Sweden, 4-0, To Advance To The Gold-Medal Game

By USA Hockey, 02/19/02, 12:15PM MST


WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- With a 4-0 victory against Team Sweden, the 2002 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team earned the chance face Canada and defend its gold medal at the XIX Olympic Winter Games in a rematch of the 1998 Olympic championship game.

Team captain Cammi Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.) opened the scoring for the U.S. at 17:16 of the first stanza when she poked the rebound of defenseman Tara Mounsey's (Concord, N.H.) slapshot past Swedish goaltender Kim Martin. U.S. forward Katie King (Salem, N.H.) widened the lead to 2-0 with less than :30 remaining in the period, taking the feed from alternate captain Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wis.) and charging in on the breakaway to beat Martin.

Granato netted her second goal of the game on the power play, knocking in the loose puck after Jenny Potter's (Eagan, Minn.) initial shot at 8:57 of the second period.

Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) picked up her tournament-leading seventh Olympic goal following a quick give-and-go from her linemates Krissy Wendell (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Granato. Darwitz's goal at 12:58 of the third stanza closed out scoring for the game and sealed the 4-0 victory. U.S. goaltender Sarah Tueting (Winnetka, Ill.) earned the shutout, her first of this Olympics.

With the win, the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey advances to the gold-medal game, where it will face Team Canada at 5:00 p.m. (MST) on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the E Center in West Valley City, Utah. Team USA holds a 23-28-0 all-time record versus Team Canada, and earned the inaugural Olympic Gold Medal in women's ice hockey at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games with a 3-1 win against the Canadian squad. Finland and Sweden will play for the bronze medal at noon on Thursday at The Peaks Arena in Provo, Utah.

United States vs. Sweden Scoring By Period

USA - 2 1 1 -- 4
SWE - 0 0 0 -- 0

First Period -- Scoring: 1, USA, Granato (Mounsey, Wendell), 17:16. 2, USA, King (Bye), 19:32. Penalties: Mleczko, USA (elbowing), 5:16; Elfsberg, SWE (body checking), 6:42; Wendell, USA (slashing), 14:42; Bergstrand, SWE (tripping), 19:50.

Second Period -- Scoring: 3, USA, Granato (Potter, Mounsey), 8:57, pp. Penalties: Berggren, SWE (tripping), 8:33; Baker, USA (body checking), 10:44; Holst, SWE (high-sticking), 11:04; King, USA (roughing), 14:32; Ruggiero, USA (roughing), 15:38.

Third Period -- Scoring: 4, USA, Darwitz (Wendell, Granato), 12:58. Penalties: A Andersson, SWE (roughing), 4:25; Mounsey, USA (body checking), 5:48; Mleczko, USA (body checking), 10:34; Rundqvist, SWE (tripping), 15:32.

Shots: USA 9-13-10--32. SWE 3-5-2--10.

Goaltenders: USA, Tueting (10 shots, 10 saves). SWE, Martin (32 shots, 28 saves).

Referee: Jacqui Palm. Linesman: Henrieta Hujdusova, Johanna Suban.

Attendance: 7,738.