After shutting out the ROC 5-0 Saturday morning, the U.S. women's hockey team was hopeful they'd have a similar performance against Switzerland in their tilt on Sunday. They did just that and then some with an even more dominant effort to stay unbeaten at the 2022 Winter Olympics. They took down Switzerland, 8-0, and it was pretty much a blowout from the very start.
The first period can only be described as a total onslaught. The U.S. scored five goals in the game's first 20 minutes, and two of them came from Hilary Knight, who was also a juggernaut in Saturday's win over the ROC. That's back-to-back strong games for Knight, and she's stepping up at the perfect time with Brianna Decker out for the remainder of the Olympics.
Switzerland opted to pull Saskia Maurer after the opening stanza and replaced her with Andrea Braendli, who faced a combined 86 shots in her squad's first two games at the Olympics. Unfortunately for the Swiss, the goalie change didn't do much of anything to swing momentum in their favor. Just over two minutes into the middle period, Kelly Pannek scored her second goal of the day to extend the U.S. lead.
That wasn't it for the U.S. in the second period, though. Jesse Compher later scored her second goal of the game and third of the tournament to give the Americans a 7-0 lead. The 22-year-old now has four points in her first three games as an Olympian.
With three U.S. players all looking to complete the hat trick in the third period, it felt inevitable that at least one of them would net one more goal before the final buzzer. However, it was Dani Cameranesi who put the cherry on top late in the final frame to make it 8-0 for the Americans. This was Cameranesi's first goal of the 2022 Games, so it must've felt good to get that monkey off her back.
The victory gives the U.S. back-to-back shutouts in consecutive days after Nicole Hensley blanked the ROC on Saturday. Against Switzerland, though, it was Alex Cavallini who registered the 12-save no-no in her first-ever start in an Olympic contest. This also serves as the third-straight game in which the U.S. allowed a grand total of just 12 shots on goal.
The United States' next game comes Monday night at 11:10 p.m. ET, and it's the one everyone's been waiting for — USA vs. Canada. The Americans and Canadians are both expected to face off for the gold medal once again at this year's Olympics, so expect some fireworks when the two teams square off for the first time at this tournament.
Canada has been almost too good to start the preliminary stage, outscoring opponents 23-2 in two games at the Olympics thus far, but the Americans have been impressive in their own right, going three-for-three in their games with a plus-16 goal differential.
"Canada and us, we share a special bond and that makes for great hockey and a beautiful rivalry," said Knight. "We are really looking forward to it, and I am sure they are too."
Editor's note: Re-live the game as it unfolded in real time with our live blog updates below.
0:00 - Puck is dropped for the United States' tilt against Switzerland. Americans wearing white, Swiss wearing red. The Americans have never lost or even given up a goal to Switzerland in women's hockey at the Olympics, just FYI.
3:57 - The Americans give up a 2-on-1 rush for the Swiss, but U.S. goaltender Alex Cavallini came up with the big stop to keep the game scoreless.
5:17 - Amanda Kessel feeds Abby Roque for a high-danger scoring chance in the low slot, but Switzerland netminder Saskia Maurer denied Roque from close range.
5:40 - Hilary Knight is at it again, scoring goals and such. She breaks the ice from the dirty area to give her squad the early lead.
8:50 - Savannah Harmon, who's been one of the Americans' best players throughout the tournament, falls down with absolutely no one around her after the whistle blew for icing. It was hilarious, and even she was laughing about it with her teammates.
14:04 - Jesse Compher extends the U.S. lead with a one-timed shot. That's goals in back-to-back games for the first-time Olympian.
14:13 - Knight scores again. Shocker! Just a ridiculous shot from along the half boards. She's been outstanding.
16:15 - Kelly Pannek joins the goal party to make it 4-0. That's her first of the 2022 Olympics. The U.S. is just skating circles around the Swiss. Complete domination.
17:37 - Americans get a power play with an opportunity to extend their lead to five goals.
19:38 - Just as the power play was about to expire, Amanda Kessel buries a one-timer from a crazy angle to make it 5-0. The offense is buzzing, and Switzerland has no answer.
0:00 - Switzerland opts to pull Saskia Maurer and put Andrea Braendli in net. Bold strategy. Let's see how it work out for them.
2:11 - Pannek scores her second of the game to make it 6-0.
9:39 - Abby Roque goes to the box for an illegal check to the head. It was a bit of a soft call and she wasn't much of a fan. But the U.S. killed off the Swiss power play without breaking much of a sweat, so no biggie.
13:00 - Abbey Murphy and a Swiss player collide behind the net and Murphy was slow getting to the bench favoring her leg. Didn't look pretty, but it's a good sign that she didn't head straight to the locker room.
16:50 - Murphy came back into the game and for a split second it looked like she was about to try the Michigan move. That would've been iconic.
17:12 - Compher scores again and now she has two goals on the day. U.S. has a touchdown and an extra point.
5:10 - Hilary Knight came so close to completing the hat trick. She couldn't get the puck past Braendli, but she did draw a penalty, which is nice. U.S. didn't score on the power play, though, which is not nice.
15:13 - Not that it matters much, but Jesse Compher heads to the box for hooking.
17:29 - Dani Cameranesi makes it 8-0 with her first goal of the tournament. Must've felt good to get that monkey off her back.
20:00 - Make that back-to-back shutouts for the Americans. The ROC couldn't score against them, and neither could Switzerland. The U.S. moves to 3-0 ahead of their preliminary game against Canada.