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February 9, 1998 Front

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From the Olympics Toword Tomorrow

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Shinano Mainichi
Shinano Mainichi

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Japanese

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Finland routs Japan 11-1 in women's ice hockey


(Aqua Wing, Nagano City)
12:00 FIN 11-1 JPN
16:00 USA 7-1 SWE
20:00 CAN 2-0 CHN


FIN 11-1 JPN

Kirsi Haenninen scored a hat trick and Hanna-Riikka Nieminen netted two goals to propel Finland to an 11-1 rout of host Japan in the Nagano Olympic women's ice hockey preliminary round Monday.

Finland, considered a medal contender in the six-team tourney, went ahead three minutes and 54 seconds into the game at the Aqua Ring ice arena in Nagano with a Sanna Lankosaari shot from the slot on a pass from Katja Riipi.

The forward combination then made it 2-0 at 18 minutes and 45 seconds into the game when Riipi slapped a rebound past Japanese goalie Haruka Watanabe following Lankosaari's powerful shot from a face-off circle.

Finland, fresh from a 6-0 shutout of Sweden on Sunday in the first women's ice hockey game in winter Olympic history, completely controlled the game and drove up its onslaught later in the contest.

Haenninen scored two goals in the second period and added another in the third to complete her hat trick, while Nieminen scored twice in the third as Finland blew the game open with six goals.

Host Japan, which had been thrashed by Canada 13-0 Sunday, scored its first-ever goal in the Olympic tournament at eight minutes and 28 seconds into the third period with a long-range slap shot by Akiko Hatanaka in a power-play situation.

Finland has a 2-0 record while Japan is winless with two losses. (Kyodo News)


U.S. women beat Sweden 7-1 in Olympic ice hockey

The U.S. women defeated Sweden 7-1 on Monday for their second straight win in a preliminary round match of the Nagano Olympic women's ice hockey tournament.

Forward Karyn Bye scored twice, with her first breaking a 1-1 tie 12 minutes, 39 seconds into the second period after Laurie Baker equalized with 3:33 remaining in the first period.

Sweden took a surprise lead at 10:02 in the opening period with a power-play goal by Malin Gustafsson, who flicked in a Erika Holst pass from near the blue line.

The United States, considered a gold medal contender along with Canada, overcame early defensive problems as the game went on and dominated the rest of the game at the Aqua Wing ice arena.

After taking a 2-1 lead, Kathryn King and Suzanne Merz made it 4-1 before Bye scored a short-handed goal, her second of the evening, for a 5-1 lead at the second interval.

Gretchen Ulion and Shelley Looney added two more goals in the third period. The Americans outshot Sweden 47-3.

The top finishers in the preliminary round will meet again in the final for the gold medal, while the third and fourth finishers will advance to the bronze-medal game. (Kyodo News)


Canada beats China 2-0 in Olympic women's hockey

World champion and gold medal favorite Canada struggled to beat China 2-0 on Monday in the preliminary round of the Nagano Olympic women's ice hockey tournament.

Chinese goaltender Guo Hong saved all of Canada's 13 shots on goal in the first period and the Canadians had to wait until 4 minutes, 38 seconds into the second period before opening the scoring at the Aqua Wing ice area in Nagano.

Forward Danielle Goyette tapped a Hayley Wickenheiser pass through Guo's legs and Vicky Sunohara added a second tally 11 minutes later to put Canada ahead 2-0.

Sunohara, whose grandfather is a native of Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, skated from the blue line on Canada's side of the ice and beat Guo to the glove side.

It was a frustrating night for the world champion, which controlled much of the game but was limited to two goals only one day after demolishing host Japan 13-0 in its opening game. Canada outshot China 40-8.

Canada has two wins in as many games while China is 0-2. The United States and Finland, also medal favorites in Nagano, are also unbeaten after two games.

The top two teams after the preliminary round will meet again in the final for the gold medal, while the third and fourth finishers will advance to the bronze-medal game. (Kyodo News)


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Copyright 1998 The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun