It will be a couple more days until the men hit the ice to begin their portion of the Olympic games, but the women are already well on their way.
The US, Canada, Finland and Switzerland played their second game of the tournament on Monday. Just two games in and a gap between the top and bottom of Group A has already widened. USA and Canada improved to 2-0 while Finland and Switzerland dropped to 0-2.
The two European teams shouldn't fret, however, since they are automatically qualified for the medal rounds. Because of the intentional stacking of the best teams in Group A, all teams in that group make the medal rounds. The top two, currently USA and Canada, earn a bye into the semi-finals. The bottom two in Group A will face the top two in Group B for the other two spots in the semi-finals.
USA vs. Switzerland
USA: M. Lamoureux (1, 2), B. Decker (1), H. Knight (2), A. Carpenter (2), K. Coyne (1, 2), A. Kessel (1, 2)
This game was truly never in doubt. Over a 6:22 stretch of the first period, the USA women smacked home five goals, including two by Amanda Kessel, and piled on from there. Molly Schaus stopped all 10 shots she saw in her first game of the tournament. Switzerland is still looking for its first 2014 Olympic goal (outscored 14-0 through two games).
Finland vs. Canada
CAN: M. Agosta-Marciano (1), R. Johnston (2), J. Hefford (1)
A tight, scoreless game through two periods opened up in the third with three Canadian goals. All three were scored in a 7:09 span. Team Canada is yet to be scored upon, earning its second shutout in a row. Shannon Szabados turned aside all 14 Finnish shots.