Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Canada puts away Finland 7-3 in one semi
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford scored on breakaways just six seconds apart as Canada rallied from its first deficit of the Olympic hockey tournament to beat Finland 7-3 Tuesday and advance to the gold-medal game.
The victory gave the seven-time world champions a rematch with the United States, which beat Sweden 4-0 in the other semifinal later Tuesday. The U.S. women won the gold medal in Nagano and have beaten Canada eight consecutive times in exhibitions leading up to the 2002 Olympics.
Tuula Puputti stopped 47 shots for Finland, which will play Sweden for the bronze. The Finns have taken third behind the North Americans at six worlds and the inaugural Olympic women's hockey tournament in 1998.
Kim St.-Pierre stopped 15 shots for Canada.
Finland scored with just 25 seconds left in the first period -- the first goal against Canada in four games at the Olympics -- when Tiia Reima grabbed a loose puck in front of the net during a scramble and beat St.-Pierre.
Reima made it 2-2 at 2:56 of the second when Sari Fisk took a long pass from Kirsi Hanninen and fed Reima on a perfectly executed 2-on-1. Less than a minute later, Reima assisted on Katja Riipi's goal that gave Finland a 3-2 lead.
Although Puputti stopped a series of breakaways and rushes, the Canadians kept coming. Finland killed off four consecutive power plays in the second, but the effort may have left the Finns too tired in the third, when they gave up five goals.
Wickenheiser scored with 3:19 gone in the third to tie the game and Hefford gave the Canadians a the lead for good when she broke free after the ensuing faceoff. Finland took a timeout to slow things down, but Canada erupted again in the final three minutes.
Vicky Sunohara, Cassie Campbell and Therese Brisson scored within 97 seconds to make it 7-3. Brisson and Wickenheiser scored in the first for Canada.