Parsons, 18, nets first Olympic goals


TORINO -- Sarah Parsons scored two dazzling goals and
earned an assist with dozens of feverish drives to the net. When
she was done, she had outshot the entire German national team.

Looks like the U.S. women's hockey team's teenage secret just
got out.

The 18-year-old prodigy shredded the German defense and Pam
Dreyer stopped 10 shots in the Americans' second straight shutout
victory in the preliminary round, 5-0 over Germany on Sunday night.

Katie King had a goal and two assists, and fellow three-time
Olympian Jenny Potter had a goal and an assist. But even the U.S.
veterans were overshadowed by their youngest teammate, who's
playing hooky from her freshman year at Dartmouth to go for a gold

"Here she comes," linemate Natalie Darwitz said. "Everybody
is going to get a look at Sarah, because she's incredible. She's
got skills."

Darwitz also scored for the Americans, who took 60 shots _ an
incredible 11 by Parsons _ to Germany's 10 in another dominant
performance. The United States hasn't really been tested in the
opening games of its first Olympics without captain Cammi Granato,
cut last summer by coach Ben Smith.

Granato was the face of a team that's now building a new
identity with defenseman Angela Ruggiero, captain Krissy Wendell
and Parsons, who just might turn out to be the best American player

"Well, you saw why she's here," Smith said. "She's one of
those players that's scored in every sport at every level she's
played at. She's always had that particular knack."

Parsons was a Boston-area high school star in hockey, soccer and
lacrosse less than a year ago. She looked like a talented soccer
striker at times against Germany, looming at mid-ice while waiting
for passes, then making frantic sprints to the net.

"I like to have the puck, and to try to score," Parsons said.
"This game was fun because we played really well on both ends.
That's exciting."

She got her first goal early in the second period with a deft
deke and a whip-quick shot over German goalie Jennifer Harss'
shoulder. Darwitz flipped home the rebound after another impressive
drive to the net by Parsons, who had eight shots in the first two

She finished up with an outstanding charge in the third period,
eluding three defenders and sprawling to the ice while tucking the
puck inside the post. She got a standing ovation from the fans at
Turin's stunning new hockey arena.

"You could see when she scored, she wasn't celebrating,"
Ruggiero said. "That's just how she is. She's a goal-scorer, in
hockey, in soccer and in lacrosse. That's just what she does."

The result actually was a small victory for the Germans, who
stayed closer to the U.S. than ever before: In all seven of the
teams' previous meetings, the Germans lost by at least six goals.

The Americans and Canadians lead their respective groups with
two victories. They're nearly assured of advancement to Friday's
semifinals, with both clubs already thinking about a gold-medal
rematch on Feb. 20.

While the defending Olympic champion Canadians have won their
first two games 28-0, the Americans have been less prolific
offensively, but just as tough on defense.

Dreyer made every key save during her turn in the U.S. goalie
rotation after Chanda Gunn shut out Switzerland on Saturday. And
without Switzerland's Patricia Elsmore-Sautter in the other net,
where she stopped numerous scoring chances on Saturday, Dreyer had
far fewer tense moments.

Potter got the first U.S. goal just 4:33 in, flipping a backhand
over a prone Harss during a power play. The Americans added another
man-advantage goal late in the period when King redirected Julie
Chu's shot.

In what's emerging as a tournament theme, another overzealous
officiating crew sent a steady stream of players to the penalty
box, leading to 146 seconds of 5-on-3 advantages for Germany in the
second period.

The Americans have a day of practice Monday before finishing
preliminary-round play against Finland, probably the best team
outside North America.