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BEIJING 2022: Maschmeyer, Canadians blank Swedes 11-0 in quarterfinals to earn spot in Olympic semis

BEIJING, China - The Canadians finished the preliminary round at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games the same way they started the tournament -- with a resounding 11-0 win. This time their opponent was Sweden, a team they haven’t played against in a few years thanks to multiple cancellations of major international events.

Over three periods of play in Beijing, the red and white had points from 16 players and finished with 11 goals from 56 shots on net. The Swedes, with 11 shots on net, just couldn't seem to get one by Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer, who started in her second Olympic appearance, also earned her second straight Olympic shutout -- and a massive one at that.

Canadian players celebrate a goal by Team Canada forward Brianne Jenner (19) against Sweden during the second period of their women's quarter-final round hockey game Friday at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press).
Canadian players celebrate a goal by Team Canada forward Brianne Jenner (19) against Sweden during the second period of their women's quarter-final round hockey game Friday at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press).

With the shutout over Sweden, Canada moves onto semifinal action against Switzerland. The Swiss earned their spot into semis with a 4-2 win over the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee). Switzerland has been Canada’s first opponent in Olympic action, with the maple leafs skating past their opponents with an impressive 12-1 win during the preliminary round.

As these two teams faced off for the second time in this Olympic Winter Games, it only took three minutes into the first period for Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont., to put Canada on the scoreboard on assists from Marie-Philp Poulin of Beauceville, Que., and Sarah Nurse of Hamilton, Ont.

After killing two penalties, it was Canada's chance on the powerplay and it didn't young superstar take Sarah Fillier, the pride of Georgetown, Ont., very long to put the puck by Swedish goaltender Emma Soderberg. Fillier received the pass from Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., and Nurse, tucking the puck in just inside the post. Thirty-six seconds later, Jamie Lee Rattray of Kanata, Ont., and Renata Fast of Hamilton, Ont., set Fillier up for her second goal.

The period ended with another powerplay goal, this time from Rattray and a top-shelf shot set up by Claire Thompson of Toronto, Ont., and Nurse. Canada's 4-0 lead heading into intermission was certainly a well-deserved one. The red and white played with energy and purpose, perhaps a result of their slow start against the United States in preliminary action a few days earlier, a clear habit they did not want nor plan to repeat at the these Olympic Games.

By the end of the second period, Canada had built up a nine-goal lead, including two more powerplay goals. Natalie Spooner of Scarborough, Ont., opened the second period scoring at 3:16 from Nurse and Jocelyn Larocque of Ste. Anne, Man. Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont., also got on the scoresheet, with help from Captain Poulin and Claire Thompson of Toronto, Ont. Blayre Turnbull of Stellarton, N.S., added the third goal of the period from Ambrose and fellow Jillian Saulnier of Halifax, N.S.

Continuing to add to that nine-goal tally, Saulnier quickly followed that up with another Ambrose assist, while Jenner then scored her second goal of the game, putting the Canadians on a clear and confident roll on the ice. The fifth goal of the game came on the powerplay when

Emily Clark of Saskatoon, Sask., who scored from Ashton Bell of Brandon, Man., and Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton, B.C. Those five goals were scored with the period only half over.

That resulted in Sweden starting goalie Ida Boman in the third period, after Soderberg had faced 39 shots in the two periods she played. Boman allowed goals from Jenner and Fillier, each player completing a hat trick in the game. Zander-Hart and Thompson assisted Jenner on her goal while Spooner and Fast set up Sarah Fillier. Add to that the fact that Sweden went zero-for-four on powerplay opportunities that it became obvious that fresh blood was needed in the Swedish crease for the third period in front of a relentless Canadian contingent.

The Swedes created a few solid chances in the first period, but Maschmeyer was up to the task.

Maschmeyer, from Bruderheim Alta. made 11 saves for the shut-out, while the two Swedish goalies had an impressive 56 shots fired their way over three periods of the play.

Toronto native Thompson set a record by a Canadian defenceman in a single game at the Olympics with nine points. Previously, Team Canada alumna Therese Brisson had held that record since 1998, with seven points total.

Canada went four-seven on the powerplay, killed off four penalties, and spread the scoring out well, with 16 points from 19 different players. Poulin played in her 150th career game and finished it with four points. Spooner padded her tournament lead in points to 13 total so far).

Canada is well-positioned and seems fully focused as they head into its semifinal against Switzerland. Forward Melanie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., was still absent from the Canadian line-up but is apparently practising with the team.

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