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.
According to NHL metrics, the average hockey shift lasts somewhere between 45 and 55 seconds. There’s inherent beauty and fluidity to line changes, as skaters come on and off the ice, looking to recharge after going full throttle for their teams.
Meanwhile, your NHL officiating peers are giving their all, too – regularly logging 4-5 miles a game. Those totals are even greater at your level, where you and your colleagues officiate multiple games a day, several times per week, on a seemingly never-ending calendar.
And, although we want to perform our best every game, everyone has both good days and bad – players and officials alike. To learn more about keeping burnout at bay, we went to the experts: longtime amateur hockey scheduler Larry Carrington and former NHL official Mark Faucette.
“There is so much more to officiating than meets the eye,” said Faucette, a 17-year NHL veteran. “It may look easy from the stands, but to maintain total control of a game along with the stress, slumps, supervisors, travel, and fitness regimen takes a very special kind of person.”
Get in shape (and stay there)
We all think we’re in “pretty good” shape, but the reality is, officials must be top athletes and in great condition – even at the youngest levels.
“Conditioning is very important—the deeper into the season, the more important it is,” Carrington said. “Burnout happens physically, mentally, and emotionally. An official who is in good condition will experience less physical burnout, and that will in turn help with the emotional and mental burnout.”
Faucette stresses following a workout routine that maxes yourself at least every other day. Neither player or official should plan to use games as a vehicle toward better physical fitness.
“Where we used to go to camp to get into shape, officials today are on summer conditioning regimens and are tested as soon as they come to camp,” he said. “Taking care of your body is a total focus for the good official.
“The players are so much stronger and faster now, so it’s imperative the officials keep the same pace.”
No, not balance on your skates (that’s a given). Rather, make sure to keep the big picture in mind, to work a manageable schedule that includes everything that’s important to you – family, friends, and time away from the rink.
Although it makes Carrington’s job as an assignor more difficult, he said it pays off in the long run.
“I encourage officials to take at least one weekend off to get away from hockey,” he said. “I certainly don't want to lose their services for a week, but the invigoration that it usually provides makes them a much more valuable asset over the course of the season.”
That’s huge in an industry where both mental and physical fatigue are commonplace.
“Every official runs into slumps, just as players do,” Faucette said. “You spend numerous hours alone as an official, and when things are not going good, where everything is negative, it can cause you duress.
“Positive thoughts and self-evaluations speed up recovery,” he continued. “So, instead of telling yourself, ‘I wonder what bad thing will happen tonight?’ say ‘I’m ready for anything – bring it on!’”
It’s No. 3 here, but should be No. 1 on your to-do list.
“I realize the officials are all trying hard, and mistakes are part of any sport by any participant,” said Faucette, who currently serves as supervisor of officials for USA Hockey, the NAHL director of player safety and the SPHL director of officiating. “That being said, the joy I get out of seeing a young official start out at ground level and making the big time one day is immeasurable.”
For most of you reading this, the “big time” might not be the end goal (and that’s OK). But wherever you are, there’s experience you’ve gained, as well as that to come – which both point back to why you first got involved in this great sport.
As an assignor, Carrington tries to get out of the office as much as he can and intentionally varies the schedules of his officials to help keep things fresh. He also encourages his more senior officials to lend a hand to those who aren’t as long in the tooth.
“Going to the rink and helping officials help themselves get better can be very invigorating,” he said. “Even a very good, very experienced official will often find it fun and relaxing to mentor some new official at a lower-level game where the stress levels aren’t nearly as high.”
But no matter where you officiate, Carrington emphasizes keeping one thing in mind: the love of the sport and those playing it today.
“If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be out there.”