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Americans light up scoreboard in women’s hockey

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SOCHI, Russia — U.S. forward Amanda Kessel appeared to score for her first Olympic hat trick, only to watch the referee skate over to the boards for a video review.

Oh, the puck was in the net all right.

But the ref had missed a goal by Kendall Coyne a few minutes earlier, so that one counted and Kessel’s had to come off the board.

“It was pretty weird, but I saw Kendall’s goal go in,” Kessel said after settling for two scores in the Americans’ 9-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday. “It was her first one of the tournament, so I was happy for my linemate.”

The Americans had more goals than they needed, anyway, getting scores from Monique Lamoureux, Brianna Decker and Kessel within 55 seconds of each other in the first period to all but clinch a spot in the Olympic women’s hockey semifinals. It was the quickest three-goal sequence in Olympic history, with the last two coming just eight seconds apart.

Kessel also had an assist on Coyne’s goal and another in the first period. Asked by a reporter to describe her goals, Kessel said: “I can’t really remember them all.”

Lamoureux and Coyne also scored twice for the Americans, and Molly Schaus made 10 saves in her Sochi debut. With a 2-0 record, the U.S. is in position for a spot in the medal round regardless of what happens on Wednesday in the game against Canada, the marquee matchup of the round-robin.

Canada blanked Finland, 3-0, in its last tuneup before the North American grudge match.

Megan Agosta scored to break a scoreless tie in the third period, and Jayna Hefford and Rebecca Johnston added insurance goals to lead Canada.

Shannon Szabados made 14 saves to help Canada remain unbeaten and clinch a spot in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Switzerland lost for the second time and likely is headed for a spot in the quarterfinals against one of the top two teams in the bottom-tier.

Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States, which led 5-0 after one period and outshot the Swiss 53-10. Florence Schelling, who played at Northeastern, made 44 saves for Switzerland against Schaus, of Boston College.

“We know we’re going to get lots of shots and goals against us, but we’ll tell each other let’s just keep going no matter what the score is,” Swiss forward Jessica Lutz said.

“They got five goals early on, but after that we stuck with it. They didn’t have goals for a while. That’s success for us.”

The biggest mismatch so far in the women’s hockey round-robin was scoreless for half a period before Lamoureaux gave the Americans the lead and Decker added one 47 seconds later.

Kessel got the puck off the ensuing faceoff, skated into the zone on the left side, passed the puck to herself off the boards to get around a defender and then cut in front of the net, where she beat Schelling.

“I’ve been watching them do that all year,” said Schaus, who was the backup for the first game and didn’t see much action in this one, either.

ALPINE SKIING

VICTORIOUS GERMAN

Maria Hoefl-Riesch was fifth fastest in the opening downhill leg, trailing Julia Mancuso by 1.04 seconds. The German’s two-run time of 2 minutes, 34.62 seconds was 0.40 seconds faster than Austria’s Nicole Hosp.

Mancuso, who finished 0.53 behind Hoefl-Riesch, won her fourth career Olympic medal in Alpine skiing. No other American woman has won more than two.

SHORT TRACK SPEEDSKATING

VETERAN PULLS OFF WIN

At 29, Charles Hamelin was the oldest skater in the first final of the short track competition. The wily veteran maintained a top-three position throughout most of the 14-lap race, leaving enough at the end to defeat a loaded field, including Viktor Ahn and silver medalist Han Tianyu of China. Ahn was a three-time gold medalist for his native South Korea, but after missing the Vancouver Games he changed his name and became a Russian citizen. When he stepped on the medals podium, the mostly Russian crowd erupted in wild cheers.

SPEEDSKATING

IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

Michel Mulder’s 500-meter speedskating victory earned him the title of fastest man on skates. Teammate Jan Smeekens was 0.01 seconds behind for silver, and twin Ronald Mulder took bronze in a Dutch sweep.

BIATHLON

FRANCE GETS ON BOARD

Martin Fourcade’s win earned France its first medal in the 12.5-kilometer biathlon pursuit. Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic took the silver, and Jean Guillaume Beatrix of France earned bronze. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway finished fourth, missing out on a record 13th Winter Olympic medal.

MEN’S MOGULS

BILODEAU REPEATS

Alex Bilodeau became the Olympics’ first repeat winner in men’s moguls. Canadian teammate Mikael Kingsbury won the silver, giving the Canadians a 1-2 finish in both men’s and women’s moguls.

CURLING

Norway dazzles

The Norwegian men, curling’s fashion kings of cool, made their Sochi debut with another snazzy pattern on their pants — a mixture of red, white, blue and gray squares and rectangles.

Norway dazzled the U.S. 7-4, but the surprise of opening day was Switzerland’s upset of defending champion Canada. On the women’s side, Sweden defeated Britain 6-4 in a matchup of two favorites for the women’s curling gold.

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