TURIN, ITALY – Canada’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team has advanced to the Olympic gold medal final, and will defend its 2002 Gold medal, after a 5-0 win over Finland on Friday in Turin, Italy.
After a sluggish start, rookie Olympian Katie Weatherston (Thunder Bay, ON/Dartmouth College, ECAC) put Canada on the scoreboard during a power play, with a great individual effort, that resulted in her beating Finnish goaltender Maija Hassinen over the shoulder. Gillian Apps (Unionville, ON/Dartmouth College, ECAC) added a late goal, again in the power play as Canada took a 2-0 first period lead. Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, SK/Calgary X-Treme, WWHL) and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, QC/ Minnesota-Duluth, WCHA) scored two more power play goals in the second to give Canada a four goal cushion. Cherie Piper (Scarborough, ON/Dartmouth College, ECAC) added two goals in the final period, as Canada skated to a 6-0 win.
Canada will face Sweden in the gold medal final, on Monday, February 20th, at the Palasport Arena, at 8:30 pm (local)/ 2:30 pm (ET).
Earlier in the day, Sweden stunned the U.S. 3-2 in a shootout to advance to the gold medal final. It marked the first time that Sweden has defeated the U.S. in the history of women’s hockey. Maria Rooth scored both goals for Sweden in regulation, and then 16 year old Pernilla Winberg followed with the decisive goal in the shootout. Sweden’s National Women’s Team advances to an international gold medal game for the first time in its history.
Monday, February 20th, 2006 Women’s Olympic Hockey Medal Game Schedule
Bronze medal game
Finland vs. USA 16:30 (Local)/10:30 (Eastern) Palasport
Gold medal game
Canada vs. Sweden 20:30 (Local)/14:30 (Eastern) Palasport
Women’s hockey has been an Olympic event since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Canada captured silver at the inaugural women’s hockey event in Nagano, Japan in 1998, and gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.