U.S. women blank Finland, advance to Olympic hockey final

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Lee Hee-beom, head of the Pyeongchang Games organizing committee, said they would be open to the idea but indicated he would like to see a long-term plan in place rather than seeing a team formed in a matter of weeks, as happened this year. It entered having been outscored 22-1 in four previous losses.

"Those games don't matter".

Korea attacked in formation, set up in front of the Swedish net, blocked shots in their own zone and occasionally shoved opponents into the boards, shows of discipline and hunger missing from other games.

The home support roared when the South Korean Han Soo-jin scored to tie the game in the first period, before the Swedes ran out easy winners. Behind signs of "We are one", the crowd chanted for victory. Calgary's Kevin Koe is looking to defend Canada's gold medal, won in 2014 by Brad Jacobs.

So Olympic agent Brant Feldman chose a totally neutral color to attend the preliminary round women's hockey game between the arch rivals last Thursday at the Pyeongchang Winter Games: green. But South Korea says nothing has been decided on whether such a summit will happen. US defenseman James Wisniewski's father tested positive for norovirus last week and is one of 49 of 283 confirmed Olympic cases still in quarantine. The American onslaught of Finland in the semis started early, when Gigi Marvin, on an assist from captain Meghan Duggan, scored just over two minutes into the game.

Which, for some of the hockey players, was not so bad at all.

"It's honestly a dream come true, " Knight said. "Maybe they weren't here for hockey". A 7-2 win over Sweden in the quarterfinals put them in the semifinals against Team USA.

They made the point with their second goal of the tournament.

"I think we're going to build off that, " Lamourex-Morando said. "We had to be ready".

As the team gathered around the faceoff circle for their normal post-game cheer - "Fighting! Those games are in the past", Johnston said.

"We are surprised in a positive way", said Fasel. "We've been talking about doing some sort of exchange game or maintaining this connection". We may never play in a game with these people ever again - play in the Olympics. "You're going to get rewarded". It's not clear what will remain.

"Hopefully there are a lot of little girls watching and kind of dream of being in this spot because I remember watching and dreaming of being here myself", Spooner said.

Fairness and loyalty prohibit Feldman from saying this in so many words, but a gold medal for the US would bring him new business opportunities by driving attention in the world's biggest economy.

Now two decades into its Olympic life, women's hockey is well into its second generation of players. "It's best-on-best competition. I think that's what makes it so great".

But, she added, "none of them have Facebook, so it might be hard to stay in touch".

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