Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and had an assist to accelerate Canada to an 8-1 semifinal victory over Switzerland at the Women’s World Hockey Championship in Herning, Denmark.
Sarah Fillier had a goal and an assist for the Canadians, who will try to defend their world title and write a new chapter in a historic rivalry with the United States in Sunday’s gold medal game at 1:30 p.m. ET. Switzerland and the Czech Republic will battle for bronze at 9:00 a.m
Sarah Nurse, Kristin O’Neill, Jessie Eldridge, Emily Clark and Brianne Jenner also scored for Canada and defender Ella Shelton had two assists. Goalkeeper Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped five shots for the win.
Earlier Saturday, Amanda Kessel scored a hat-trick for the Americans in their 10-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic, sustaining a streak of reaching the finals on all women’s worlds since the inaugural tournament in Ottawa in 1990. The US has nine golds. won medals.
The US is unbeaten in six games here, including a 5-2 victory over Canada in the preliminary round. The Americans have defeated their opposition 52-5 compared to Canada’s 30-8.
Canada defeated the US 3-2 in extra time to win last year’s world championship and halt its arch-rival’s streak of titles on five straight.
VIEW | Canada goes for the 12th gold medal after bringing it to Switzerland:
The Canadians then won 3-2 for gold in the February Olympic final in Beijing. They had lost four years earlier in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in a firefight with the US.
Canada may have both titles, but the US was the better goalscorer and also more stingy than the Canadians.
The only time Canada, 11 gold winner, failed to meet the US in the final was in 2019 when it was upset in the semi-final by host Finland in Espoo.
Canadian head coach Troy Ryan continued to work on several forward combinations in Saturday’s semi-finals, with Sarah Potomak shifting to a line with Poulin and Jenner and placing Victoria Bach alongside Eldridge and Emma Maltais.
Defender Lara Christen scored for the exhausted Swiss with Saskia Maurer firing off 48 shots in her first start of the tournament.
Lara Stalder returned to Switzerland’s lineup after the captain spent four days in COVID-19 quarantine, but top striker Alina Mueller, who also tested positive for the virus, did not play on Saturday.
The Swiss were also minus Noemi Ryhner (hand) and Laura Zimmermann (ankle) for the semi-final, which went chippy after Canadian defender Renata Fast sent the Swiss defender into the locker room to control Christen in the second period.
Swiss fans booed Fast every time she touched the puck for the rest of the game.
Poulin struck out twice and Nurse got her stick on the puck in a goal-mouth scrum for a power play goal in the third.
The Swiss trailed 4-0 when Christen scored ahead of two men in the second. She left the ice uncomfortably later in the period after being checked by Fast in the Switzerland zone.
O’Neill, Eldridge and Jenner all scored their first goals of the tournament for Canada on Saturday, while Fillier took her team-leading fifth.
For the Americans, Taylor Heise had two goals and three assists against the Czech Republic, while Hilary Knight scored twice to expand her own all-time tournament record to 89 points and 53 goals.
The US led 6-0 after the first period, adding two more goals in each of the second and third periods. Klara Hymlarova made it 7-1 halfway through the second.