SOCHI, Russia -- Six players scored and 13 skaters recorded at least one point to help the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team beat Switzerland, 9-0, today in its second preliminary round game of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Shayba Arena. With the win, Team USA guarantees itself a spot in a semifinal on Monday (Feb. 17).
After back-and-forth action in the opening minutes of the first period, Team USA scored five goals in a 6:22 span midway through the frame to break the game open.
Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) started the record-breaking scoring outburst at 9:20 when she took a pass from behind the net and slipped a shot through Swiss goaltender Florence Schelling's five-hole. Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) doubled the U.S. lead just 47 seconds later by converting on a rebound at the edge of the crease. Then, eight seconds after Decker's goal, Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) flew down the far-side boards, cut to the slot and scored on a low wrist shot to give Team USA a 3-0 edge. Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) made it 4-0 when she batted home a loose puck at 14:23 before Kessel one-timed a Decker pass under Schelling's blocker for a power-play marker at 15:42 to give the United States a 5-0 advantage after the first frame.
The U.S. pushed its lead to 6-0 at 13:26 of the middle stanza when Lamoureux netted her second of the game with a quick shot from the bottom of the right circle that found its way between Schelling's glove and body.
Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) made it 7-0 just 49 seconds into the third period. After skating to the front of the net, Coyne batted away at a loose puck until it trickled through Schelling and over the goal line. Then, at 3:59, Coyne found the back of the net again, this time sliding a rebound through Schelling's five-hole to give Team USA an 8-0 lead. Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) connected on a breakaway at 15:39 to close the scoring.
Goaltender Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.) recorded 10 saves for the shutout.
The U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team will conclude group play Wednesday (Feb. 12) when it squares off with Canada. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. ET and can be viewed live on NBC Sports Network.
NOTES: Team USA broke an Olympic record by scoring three goals in 55 seconds in the opening stanza ... Also, the U.S. set a team record for fastest five goals in an Olympic contest, scoring five times over a 6:22 span in the first period ... The U.S. was 1-for-4 on the power play and was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill ... Through two games, Kendall Coyne, Amanda Kessel and Hilary Knight are tied for the U.S. points lead (4) ... The U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team has medaled in all four Olympic appearances to date (gold-1998, silver-2002 and 2010, bronze-2006) ... The 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team is under the direction of General Manager Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ... Katey Stone (Arlington, Mass.) was named head coach on June 8, 2012, and is the first female to serve as head coach of a U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. Olympic Teams.
Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.
Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.
Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.
“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road, and these initiatives will help us do that,” said Tab Ramos, U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director. “In general, we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this (new) environment, they are going to learn to do that. Fast forward 10 years, and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”
With this change, American soccer will join sports like baseball, basketball, hockey and tennis, all of which have embraced the skill-development benefits of age-appropriate playing dimensions and competition formats (see chart below).
Those benefits are at the core of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was recently praised by the Sports Business Journal as a “trailblazing program.”