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Carpenter, Murphy help U.S. advance to women’s hockey final

Carpenter, Murphy help U.S. advance to women’s hockey final

CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 20: Kendall Coyne Schofield #26 of United States (R) celebrates with her teammates after scoring against Switzerland in the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship Group A match played at WinSport Arena on August 20, 2021 in Calgary, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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CALGARY, Alberta — The United States and Canada will face off in the final of the women’s hockey world championship for the 19th time in 20 tournaments.

The five-time defending champion U.S. plays in its 20th gold-medal game on Tuesday, seeking to tie Canada with 10 titles. Canada, which ended the Americans’ 29-game win streak in the event on Thursday, aims for its first title since 2012.

Alex Carpenter and Abbey Murphy scored in the second period, and the United States beat Finland 3-0 on Monday in the first semifinal. In the late game, tournament scoring leader Melodie Daoust collected two more goals in Canada’s 4-0 victory over Switzerland.

“We knew we had to come out hard and fast and take away any chances for Finland and I think we did just that,” U.S. coach Joel Johnson said. “I was really impressed by how our team controlled the tempo against a skilled team like Finland. We’re going to enjoy this win, but we’ve got one more game to play.”

Carpenter put the U.S. in front early in the second with her third goal of the tournament. Carpenter got a stick on Lee Stecklein’s shot from the point to redirect it past goaltender Anni Keisala.

Murphy scored on a breakaway late in the second. Murphy took advantage of a turnover at the blue line and went backhand to forehand for a shot that trickled by Keisala.

“Megan Keller had a nice blast up the wall, and I was ready for it, I wanted it, so it felt good,” Murphy said after her second goal of the worlds.

Kendall Coyne Schofield added an empty-netter with 2:53 remaining to seal the rematch of the 2019 final that the U.S. won 2-1 in a controversial finish.

Finland, which was outshot 33-14, had a good offensive opportunity midway through the first period with a two-man advantage for two minutes, but the United States did not allow a shot.

Finland emptied its net on a power play with 7:22 remaining, but U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley kept it scoreless on the way to her second shutout against Finland this tournament.

The Finns will look to claim their 13th bronze medal on Tuesday against Switzerland.

In the second semi, Canada scored two first-period goals in less than two minutes to take control. Renata Fast scored the first and assisted Daoust on the second. Fast one-timed a nice pass from Brianne Jenner at the back post, and Daoust redirected Fast’s shot 98 seconds later.

Canada outshot Switzerland 20-2 in the first period.

Daoust made it 3-0 during a power play in the second on a redirection that bounced over goalie Andrea Braendli. Daoust has six goals and six assists in six Canadian wins.

Rebecca Johnston sent a shot under the glove of Braendli to cap the scoring on a power play late in the third.

It was the first time in six tournament games Canada didn’t score at least five goals.