Canada dispatches OAR to advance to women's hockey final versus U.S.
Canada players celebrate a goal against Olympic Athlete from Russia goaltender Valeria Tarakanova in women's third period hockey action at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Monday, February 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, February 19, 2018 9:34AM EST
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of -- Canada's women's hockey team will play for Olympic gold again.
The Canadians blanked Olympic Athletes from Russia 5-0 in Monday's semifinal.
Canada faces the United States in Thursday's final and will attempt to win a fifth straight gold.
Jennifer Wakefield led Canada with a pair of goals. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Emily Clark and Rebecca Johnston also scored.
Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados stopped 14 shots for the shutout and her second win of the tournament.
Russian goalie Valeria Tarakanova stopped 27-of-31 shots before being replaced by Nadezhda Alexandrova in the third period. Alexandrova made 15 saves.
The Russians will play Finland for bronze.
Since women's hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, Canada and the U.S. have met in every final except 2006 when the Americans were upset by Sweden in the semifinal.
Canada will try to extend its gold-medal run to five straight in Thursday's final that starts at 11:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Only the U.S. women's basketball team has a longer streak of consecutive Olympic gold medals at six.
The U.S. won the inaugural women's hockey event in 1998. The Americans have won seven of the last eight women's world championships and beat Canada in the final every time.
The U.S. narrowly lost the gold to Canada four years ago in Sochi, Russia. Poulin scored the tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation and then the overtime winner.
The Americans advanced to the final in Pyeongchang with a 5-0 semifinal win over Finland.
The Canadians opened the tournament shutting out the Russians 5-0. The semifinal followed a similar plot of Canada wearing down the Russian defence.
Johnston scored a power-play on a goal-mouth scramble at 14:08 of the third period.
Nadezhda took over in goal for Russia after Clark scored Canada's fourth goal at 2:30. Wakefield fooled Tarakanova with a sharp-angled shot at 1:59 for her second of the game.
Poulin made it 2-0 at 3:10 of the second. The captain put a backhand over Tarakanova's glove on a feed from Melodie Daoust.
Wakefield beat Tarakanova glove side at 1:50 of the opening period on a pass from behind the net by Natalie Spooner.
The Canadian women played their first game in the 10,000-seat Gangneung Hockey Centre after their three pool games at the smaller Kwandong Hockey Centre.
The Russian team is not allowed to wear their traditional red, white and blue in Pyeongchang as part of the punishment meted out by the International Olympic Committee for alleged state-sponsored doping in Sochi.
The women wore red and white Monday, but had a vocal band of supporters in full tricolour tirelessly waving Russian flags.