Marie-Philip Poulin scored two goals and added an assist to lead Canada to an 8-1 semifinal win over Switzerland at the World Women’s Hockey Championship on Saturday.
Sarah Fillier had a goal and an assist for the Canadians, who will look to defend their world title and write another chapter in a historic rivalry with the United States in Sunday’s gold medal game.
Sarah Nurse, Kristin O’Neill, Jessie Eldridge, Emily Clark and Brianne Jenner also scored and defender Ella Shelton had two assists. Canadian goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens blocked five shots for the win.
Defender Lara Christen scored for the exhausted Switzerland as Saskia Maurer stopped 48 shots in her first start of the tournament.
The United States is undefeated in six games here, including a 5-2 win over Canada in the preliminary round.
Canada edged the United States 3-2 in overtime to win last year’s world championship and snap their arch-rival’s streak to five in a row.
The Canadians then prevailed 3-2 in February’s Olympic final in Beijing for gold. They had lost in a shootout to the United States four years earlier in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Canada can hold both titles, but the United States has been the top scorer and also more stingy than the Canadians.
The United States beat Czechia 10-1 in Saturday’s previous semifinal. The Americans have outscored their opponent 52-5 in six games so far in this tournament, compared to 30-8 for Canada.
The United States has reached the final of every women’s championship since the inaugural tournament in Ottawa in 1990 and won nine gold medals.
The only time Canada, winners of 11 gold medals, did not meet the United States in the final was in 2019 when they were upset in the semi-finals by hosts Finland in Hope.
Canadian head coach Troy Ryan continued to work on different forward line combinations in Saturday’s semi-final, moving Sarah Potomak to a line with Poulin and Jenner and placing Victoria Bach alongside Eldridge and Emma. Maltese.
Lara Stalder returned to the Switzerland roster after the captain spent four days in COVID-19 quarantine, but top striker Alina Mueller, who also tested positive for the virus, did not play on Saturday.
The Swiss also lost Noemi Ryhner (hand) and Laura Zimmermann (ankle) for the semi-final, which turned turbulent after Canadian defender Renata Fast’s second-half control of Christen sent the Swiss defender into the locker room.
Swiss fans booed Fast every time she touched the puck for the rest of the game.
Poulin hit twice from the crease and Nurse put his stick on the puck in a scrum for a power-play goal in the third.
The Swiss trailed 4-0 when Christen scored on a two-man advantage in the second. She left the ice in discomfort later in the period after being checked by Fast in the Switzerland zone.
O’Neill, Eldridge and Jenner all scored their first goals of the tournament for Canada on Saturday, while Fillier notched his fifth team goal.
Czechia face Switzerland for the bronze medal on Sunday.