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Olympics-Ice hockey-Canada engineer Swedish demolition to reach semi-final – Metro US

Olympics-Ice hockey-Canada engineer Swedish demolition to reach semi-final

Ice Hockey – Women’s Play-offs Quarterfinals – Canada v Sweden
Ice Hockey – Women’s Play-offs Quarterfinals – Canada v Sweden

BEIJING (Reuters) – Sharpshooters Brianne Jenner and Sarah Fillier each produced hat tricks in Canada’s 11-0 rout of quarter-final foe Sweden on Friday, keeping their team on track for gold medal redemption in women’s ice hockey in Beijing.

The Canadians lost to arch rival United States in the gold-medal match four years ago in Pyeongchang, but are poised to return to the top of the Olympic podium in Beijing, recording a jarring 44 goals in five consecutive wins.

“For us it really is gold or bust,” said Fillier. “No matter the score, we’re still trying to work on our habits. We have to get better each game. It’s not really looking at the score but continuing to play our way and not changing for anyone else.”

Canada, which has won gold four times since the women’s tournament was introduced to the Olympic programme in 1998, have five of the top-10 goal scorers in Beijing on the roster, with Jenner and Fillier leading all with eight a piece.

“I don’t think we set out every game to put up double-digit goals but we’re playing within our systems and our systems are built to produce offence,” said Fillier.

Forward Jenner got the action started at Wukesong Sports Centre on Friday, whipping the puck into the back of the net off assists from captain Marie-Philip Poulin and forward Sarah Nurse three minutes into the first period.

Fillier scored twice within 36 seconds late in the first period and Jamie Lee Rattray converted on a powerplay chance with 30 seconds left in the frame, sealing Sweden’s fate long before the contest was over.

Canada poured in five goals in the second period, with Jenner again scoring before adding another tally in the third to complete her hat trick. Natalie Spooner, Erin Ambrose, Blayre Turnbull and Emily Clark also recorded goals.

Yet another lights out performance makes Canada the overwhelming favourites to take gold, especially after their 4-2 victory over the Americans in the preliminary round and an underwhelming 4-1 U.S. quarter-final win over the Czech Republic on Friday.

The two women’s ice hockey powerhouses are widely expected to meet in the gold medal game.

Canada will next face either Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) or Switzerland in their semi-final on Monday.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Beijing; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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