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USA hockey beats Finland to set up gold-medal rematch with Canada

(Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States women’s hockey team will meet Canada in the gold-medal game at the Beijing Olympics after defeating Finland 4-1 in the semifinals on Monday. The Canadians advanced with a 10-3 rout of Switzerland earlier in the day.

Team USA, tied 0-0 with Finland at the end of the first period, accelerated its offensive attack in the second period. On the power play, 16:21 into the period, Cayla Barnes scored the first goal of her Olympic career off of a feed from Hannah Brandt.

Hilary Knight made it 2-0 on a wrist shot with 1:07 left in the second period. The goal was Knight’s 11th all-time at the Olympics, tying her with Jenny Potter and bringing her within three of the U.S. Olympic record set by Natalie Darwitz and Katie King.

Hayley Scamurra added to Team USA’s lead with 4:40 remaining in the third period, picking up a deflected shot in front of the net to make it 3-0.

Finland’s Susanna Tapani spoiled Alex Cavallini’s shutout bid with 26 seconds to go in the game, slipping one by the netminder on the power play for her fifth goal of the tournament. Cavallini, who made 25 saves to preserve the win Monday, has allowed just two goals in three starts for Team USA.

Abby Roque scored an empty-netter with four seconds remaining to seal the 4-1 victory.

For the sixth time in seven Olympics, the U.S. and Canada will meet in the gold-medal game. In 2018, the Americans won gold for the first time since women’s hockey debuted at the 1998 Olympics. Canada has won gold at every other Olympics.

Canada defeated Team USA 4-2 in group play last week. The U.S. suffered a similar result at the 2018 PyeongChang Games before beating out Canada for gold in a thrilling overtime victory.

The teams will play for gold on Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. ET on NBC.