Canada tops Switzerland, will meet U.S. in women’s world championship final

Canada's Natalie Spooner, centre, celebrates her goal with teammates during first period quarterfinal IIHF Women's World Championship hockey action against Germany in Calgary, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY — Melodie Daoust scored twice to lead Canada to a 4-0 win over Switzerland in a women’s world hockey championship semifinal Monday.

Canada will face defending champion United States in Tuesday’s final. The Americans blanked Finland 3-0 earlier Monday.

Canada returns to the gold-medal game after falling to Finland in a 2019 semifinal and taking bronze. It was the first time in the history of the tournament the Canadians didn’t reach the final.

The Americans are chasing a sixth straight world title and their ninth in the last 10 world championships. Canada last won it in 2012 in Burlington, Vt.

Renata Fast had a goal and an assist, Rebecca Johnston scored and Marie-Philip Poulin had two assists for host Canada, which remained unbeaten in the tournament.

Ann-Renee Desbiens posted a 10-save shutout. Andrea Braendli was a workhorse in Switzerland’s net stopping 61-of-65 shots.

The 2020 women’s championship was cancelled because of COVID-19. The 2021 tournament was rescheduled to Calgary in August when Nova Scotia called it off in May.

Daoust leads the championship in scoring with six goals and six assists in 10 games ahead of teammate Natalie Spooner with four goals and five assists.

Canada beat the U.S. 5-1 to cap the preliminary-round and post a 4-0 record in Pool A. Canada blanked Germany 7-0 in a quarterfinal.

The Swiss finished at the bottom of Pool A at 0-4.

A 3-2 overtime win over Russia in Saturday’s quarterfinal was Switzerland’s first win of the tournament.

The Swiss mustered the occasional foray into Canada’s zone Monday.

They spent most of their time and energy in their own zone trying to keep the puck out of their own net, however, as Canada outshot them 65-10.

Johnston wired a shot into the far corner for a power-play goal at 16:58 of the third period.

Swiss forward Noemi Ryhner hit Desbiens’ glove and the post on a short-handed breakaway in the third.

The Canadians made the Swiss pay for Sarah Forster’s glove to Emily Clark’s face after the whistle with Daoust’s power-play goal in the second period.

Poulin’s shot deflected off Daoust into the air and over Braendli at 5:20.

Daoust also scored with a long re-direct of a Fast shot at 6:52 of the opening period.

Fast had a lot of net to work with from the slot when Brianne Jenner fed her from the wing at 5:14.

Canada blanked Switzerland 5-0 in the preliminary round and has yet to give up a goal to the Swiss in eight world championship meetings.

Switzerland was without top forward Alina Muller, who led the 2018 Olympic tournament in scoring with seven goals and three assists in 10 games, for most of the tournament.

She injured her ankle in a loss to Russia in Switzerland’s first game of the tournament.

The Swiss reached the final four for the third time in the history of the tournament. They won a bronze medal in 2012 and were fourth in 2008.

Finland and Switzerland will play for bronze, and Russia and Japan will meet in the fifth-place game Tuesday.

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