SOCHI, Russia — The US gave Sweden fair warning.
To anyone who would listen, the Americans said to forget the team that partially showed up against the Canadians in a preliminary-round loss. The US players vowed not to repeat the mistakes that cost them last week. They would be ready and refocused for Monday’s semifinal game at Shayba Arena.
Or, as forward Hilary Knight said, “I’d hate to be the other team right now.”
Sweden was the other team. And it didn’t take long before the Scandinavians saw the truth in Knight’s words and the product of one intense film session and three days of practice by the US.
Team USA looked every bit the powerhouse that it is, easily advancing to the gold-medal game with a 6-1 win. The Americans scored early and often, and pounded Sweden with 70 shots on goal — one short of the women’s Olympic record set by the US in a 12-1 victory over China at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
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