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U.S., Canadian women open Olympics with victories

by Staff

Hilary Knight scored the opening goal 53 seconds into the game and assisted on Kelli Stack's game-winner in the United States' tournament-opening 3-1 win against Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States and Jessie Vetter made 14 saves. Susanna Tapani scored for Finland, while Noora Raty stopped 40 of 43 shots.

Knight opened the scoring early in a first period, one in which the Americans outshot Finland 15-3, before she set up Stack's goal 7:42 into the second to give the American women a 2-0 lead. The 19-year-old Carpenter, the daughter of longtime NHL player Bobby Carpenter, scored her first Olympic goal on the power play to extend the U.S. lead to 3-0 with 4:01 remaining in the second.

Tapani scored Finland's lone goal 15:22 into the third with Brianna Decker off for hooking. But the standout player for the Finns was Raty, who won back-to-back NCAA national championships with the University of Minnesota in 2012 and 2013. The Finnish goaltender kept the score respectable as the United States outshot the Finns 33-7 in the opening two periods.

Canada 5, Switzerland 0

Rebecca Johnston collected a goal and two assists and Canada began its request to repeat as Olympic women's champions with a 5-0 victory against Switzerland.

Canada's Olympic flag-bearer, Hayley Wickenheiser, also scored for Canada, along with Jocelyne Larocque, Tara Watchorn and Marie-Philip Poulin. Charline Labonte made 14 saves for the shootout. Florence Schelling stopped 64 of 69 shots for Switzerland as she was kept busy most of the afternoon.

Larocque and Watchorn scored for Canada in a dominant first period in which they outshot the Swiss 29-3. Schelling kept the score close, but Canada broke the game open with three goals in the second.

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