GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Meghan Agosta and Melodie Daoust each scored a goal and an assist, and Canada beat Finland 4-1 Tuesday in pursuit of the country's fifth straight Olympic gold medal in women's hockey.
With the win, the Canadians now have outscored consecutive opponents 9-1 going into their preliminary round showdown Thursday with their biggest rivals, the United States.
Captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Jillian Saulnier also scored. Shannon Szabados made 22 saves for the win.
Finland came to the Olympics ranked third in the world and hoping to put together one perfect game against the powerful North Americans. Now the two-time bronze medalists can only hope for another chance at the Pyeongchang Games after losing to the United States 3-1 to open pool play.
The puck had barely dropped when Daoust and Agosta broke out on a 2-on-1, and goalie Noora Raty went down expecting Daoust to shoot only to see her send a cross-ice pass to Agosta for the easy sweep just 35 seconds in.
Poulin made it 2-0 off one of the easiest turnovers possible. Jenni Hiirikoski had the puck bounce up off her stick, Poulin grabbed it away and beat Raty with a backhander top shelf. The horn blew, but play continued. Officials ruled the goal good after a review, but Canada lost a goal on review with 4.5 seconds left in the period.
It didn't matter as Doust made it 3-0 with her third goal of the tournament at 8:19 of the second on a shot from the left circle. Jillian Saulnier finished off a breakaway by beating Raty's stick at 18:26 for a 4-0 lead.
Finland avoided the shutout when Riikka Valili beat Szabados' outstretched right skate at 7:17 of the third. Szabados made an easy pad save when Susanna Tapani tried to score on a short-handed breakaway midway through the period.
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