SOCHI, Russia – When it rains, it pours, and on Monday it was raining down shots on beleaguered Swiss goaltender Florence Schelling.
The U.S. Women’s Olympic Team scored five first-period goals, including three in an Olympic record 55 seconds, on their way to a 9-0 victory.
In all, the five goals in a 5 minute, 22 second span eclipsed the old U.S. mark of 7:22 set against Switzerland at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
“Oftentimes goals come in bunches, so we’ll take them however we can get them,” said head coach Katey Stone. “Tonight there was a lot of positive energy off the bat. Momentum swings back and forth throughout the game and any time you can keep the throttle down it’s always a big boost for your bench.”
The three-goal outburst eclipsed an earlier mark set by Sandra Whyte, Shelley Looney and AJ Mleczko against Japan in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
After a tight opening 10 minutes, the Lamoureuxs teamed up to break the ice. Jocelyne picked up the puck in the corner and fed Monique who patiently made her way across the slot and slid it through Schelling’s legs.
“I just have a knack for finding her. She gets in the open spot and hangs out in the quiet area and I tend to look for her before I get the puck,” said Jocelyne.
Reuniting with her linemates after missing much of the season with groin and hip issues, Kessel showcased her enormous skill with two highlight reel goals, and set up Decker for her first of the tournament. Their linemate, Kendall Coyne, added a pair of goals in the third period to get the best of Schelling, her former teammate at Northeastern University.
“It was a good game,” Kessel said after her four-point effort. “Sometimes the puck just bounces your way and you have room and other times you don’t have any. Today is just one of these days.”
When competing against goaltenders like Schelling and Finland’s Noora Raty, scoring early can be the key to scoring at all. Against Finland, Hilary Knight, who also scored in the second period, set a new Olympic mark with an opening goal just 53 seconds into the game. Facing Schelling, the U.S. bombarded her with 53 shots, many from close range.
“Especially on a goalie like Florence, if you let her hang in there the first 10 minutes and let her get into a groove it gets harder to score on goalies like that,” said Jocelyne Lamoureux.
“We were able to get one early and I think that helped. We just kept going, we didn’t just sit on that one goal and we just kept coming after them in waves and it worked out for us today.”