Team USA has faced Team Canada in every IIHF Women’s World Championships final. But this Sunday, the gold medal match will feature a new rivalry: Team USA against the hosting Finns.
Finland made history Saturday when they upset Team Canada, making it to the gold-medal game in an international tournament for the first time in program history. This will be the first time in the 19-year history of the tournament that the final won’t be exclusively North American.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 13, 2019
The Americans rampaged through pool play undefeated, including a 6-2 win over Finland, a 3-2 win over Canada, and back-to-back shutouts against Switzerland and Russia.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 9, 2019
Team USA remained dominant through the quarterfinals and semifinals, putting up a 4-0 shoutout against Japan and an 8-0 win over Russia to punch their ticket to the final.
Since their shutout against Switzerland in their third prelim game, Team USA has gone 278 minutes without conceding a goal between goalies Maddie Rooney and Alex Rigsby.
The Americans are led by Hilary Knight. Knight, 29, moves her past Angela Ruggiero and Jenny Potter for the most games played in the IIHF World Championships by an American at 51.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 13, 2019
Knight’s seven goals and four assists lead the tournament in scoring. The Americans are looking for their fifth consecutive IIHF gold. A win in the final would make them undefeated through the entirety of the tournament.
The host nation split their preliminary games with losses to the United States and Canada and big wins over Russia and Switzerland.
Naisleijonat, the team’s name in Finnish, rode goalie Noora Raty through the quarters and semis, first with a 3-1 win over the Czechs and a 16-save performance.
In the semifinals against Canada, the Finns’ leading scorer Jenni Hiirikoski provided a goal and an assist. Ronja Savolainen scored two goals, including the game-winner, to give the host country its first win ever win over Canada.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) April 14, 2019
They have a chance to make more history Sunday with a gold medal.
As of this post, Canada is beating Russia 3-0 at the second intermission for bronze. Finland will face off against the United States for gold Sunday at 1 PM on NHL Network.
Headline photo: @IIHFHockey
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