USA Women Beat Russian Athletes 5-0 to Improve to 2-0 in 2018 Olympic Hockey

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2018

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (17), of the United States, celebrates her second goal against the team from Russia with Kelly Pannek (12) during the second period of the preliminary round of the women's hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

On the power of three second-period goals, the United States women's hockey team improved to 2-0 at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Tuesday with a 5-0 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

Forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson led the way for Team USA with two goals and one assist, scoring twice in a matter of six seconds during the second frame.

The United States controlled the tempo throughout and peppered the Olympic Athletes from Russia with 50 shots while allowing only 13 shots on winning goaltender Nicole Hensley.

By virtue of Team USA's win, it kept pace atop Group A with Canada, which defeated Finland earlier Tuesday, 4-1, to move to 2-0 as well.

After picking up a too-close-for-comfort 3-1 win over Finland in its opening game, Team USA experienced frustrating moments during Tuesday's first period.

OAR goaltender Valeria Tarakanova made some big saves to keep her team in it, but the Americans broke through first with a goal by defenseman Kacey Bellamy just over eight minutes into the contest.

Despite the Olympic Athletes from Russia's early gutsy effort, Dan Wolken of USA Today noted there wasn't much crowd support in their favor:

Team USA's 1-0 lead held up for more than half of the second period, but the Americans broke the game open during a three-minute stretch with three goals.

The first came courtesy of Lamoureux-Davidson, who made good on an assist from her sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando.

On the next faceoff, Lamoureux-Davidson stole the puck and froze the goalie with a beautiful deke to make it 3-0 in favor of the United States.

According to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Lamoureux-Davidson set a new Olympic hockey record for the shortest time between goals at just six seconds:

As Jon Rosen of Fox Sports West pointed out, Lamoureux-Davidson's goals were a fitting reward for the Americans, considering how much they had outplayed the Olympic Athletes from Russia to that point:

The United States wasn't done, as it added another goal less than three minutes after Lamoureux-Davidson's second marker.

Team USA went up 4-0 when Gigi Marvin poked a loose puck past Tarakanova, which chased the Russian goalie from the game in favor of Nadezhda Morozova.

The Americans carried that 4-0 advantage into the second intermission, and while ESPN.com's Chris Peters praised OAR's effort, he noted Team USA's onslaught was too much to overcome:

The final period largely featured the United States' efforts to run out the clock, although forward Hannah Brandt did have a goal disallowed.

After batting the puck in from midair, her goal was questionably waved off and called a hand pass.

Brandt refused to be denied, though, as she took a feed from Dani Cameranesi and scored with less than two minutes left to provide the 5-0 finishing margin.

With a goal differential of plus-seven though two games, the Americans are technically second in Group A behind Canada and its plus-eight goal differential.

The Group A winner will officially be determined Thursday when the United States and Canada meet in a highly anticipated clash.

Regardless of the result, the United States and Canada have already qualified for the semifinals, meaning a USA vs. Canada gold-medal game is within reach for the fifth time in Olympic women's hockey history.

Conversely, Tuesday's loss means the Olympic Athletes from Russia will face either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarterfinals.

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