Monique Lamoureux, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel scored in a 55-second span during the first period as the United States rolled to a 9-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday to all but clinch a spot in the Olympic women’s hockey semifinals.
It was the quickest three-goal sequence in Olympic history, with the latter two coming just eight seconds apart.
Kessel, Lamoureux and Kendall Coyne all scored twice for the Americans, and Molly Schaus made 10 saves in her Sochi debut.
“We’re happy to have her not have a lot of shots whenever possible,” coach Katey Stone said, referring to Schaus. “Because that means everyone is doing their job in front of her, too.”
Pearl River’s Josephine Pucci, playing on defense in her first Olympics, was on the ice for two goals and assisted on the goal that capped the scoring.
With a 2-0 record, the U.S. is in position for a spot in the medal round regardless of what happens on Wednesday in the game against Canada, the marquee matchup of the round-robin.
Canada defeated Finland 3-0 Monday in its last tuneup before the North American grudge match.
Switzerland lost for the second time and likely is headed for a spot in the quarterfinals against one of the top two teams in the bottom tier.
Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States, which led 5-0 after one period on its way to a 53-shot performance. Florence Schelling, who played at Northeastern, made 42 saves for Switzerland.
The biggest mismatch so far in the women’s hockey round-robin was scoreless for half a period. Lamoureaux gave the Americans the lead, and Decker added a goal 47 seconds later. Kessel got the puck off the ensuing faceoff, skated into the zone on the left side, passed the puck to herself off the boards to get around a defender and then cut in front of the net, where she beat Schelling. “I guess it’s an assist by the boards,” Kessel said.