Barnes scores as US women’s hockey team advances to gold medal game
Defenseman Cayla Barnes scored her first Olympic goal and assisted on Hayley Scamurra’s third-period goal as the United States women’s hockey team defeated Finland, 4-1, Monday at the Beijing Olympics, to advance to the gold medal game.
Barnes, who was raised in Eastvale in northwestern Riverside County, took a pass from Hannah Brandt in front of the net and put a one-timer past Finnish goaltender Anni Keisala for a power-play goal three minutes, 39 seconds into the second period to open the scoring.
Scamurra tipped in a shot from Barnes from the point with 4:40 to play to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead at Wukesong Sports Centre.
The assist was Barnes’ fifth of the tournament, tying her with Brandt, Amanda Kessel and Savannah Harmon for the team lead.
Hillary Knight also scored for the U.S. in the second period.
Susanna Tapani scored with 26 seconds to play after Finland had pulled Keisala for a sixth attacker to end Alex Cavallini’s bid for a shutout. Abby Roque scored an empty-net goal for the U.S. with five seconds left.
The U.S. outshot Finland 42-26, went 1-for-2 on the power play and killed both of its short-handed situations.
“I thought we played a great game today,” said U.S. coach Joel Johnson, whose team defeated Finland, 5-2, in a preliminary round game Feb. 3 to open the tournament.
“We talked about a few things we wanted to focus on, and actually faceoffs were one of them, and I thought Finland was dominant in the faceoff circle, so we’ll try to clean some of those things up.
“I thought our power play was good. We got a big goal in that regard and I just thought our defensive play was outstanding and that starts in net.”
Finland won 35 of 60 faceoffs, with Tapani winning all 12 of hers.
Tapani is a teammate of U.S. forward Alex Carpenter and U.S. defenseman Megan Bozek with the Shenzhen, China-based KRS Vanke Rays of the Women’s Hockey League.
The U.S. will play Canada for the gold medal at 8:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday in a rematch of Canada’s 4-2 victory Tuesday in a preliminary game — Team USA’s only loss in its six games in the tournament. Canada is 6-0-0-0. The game will be televised by NBC.