Canada thrashes Sweden to book spot in Olympic women's hockey semifinals
Canadians take 11-0 win, but next opponent not yet known
Brianne Jenner and Sarah Fillier each scored hat tricks to lead Canada to an 11-0 quarter-final win over Sweden in the Olympic women's hockey tournament on Friday.
Jenner and Fillier each have a tournament-leading eight goals apiece.
In other quarter-final action, the United States beat the Czech Republic 4-1.
The other two quarter-finals go on Saturday: the first is between the Russian Olympic Committee and Switzerland, while Finland plays Japan in the second.
Canada will only learn who they play in the semis after the other quarter-finals are complete.
Jamie Lee Rattray, Erin Ambrose, Natalie Spooner, Blayre Turnbull and Emily Clark also scored in Canada's quarter-final victory. Sarah Nurse and Marie-Philip Poulin each contributed four assists.
Canada's Emerance Maschmeyer posted an 11-save shutout in her second start in Beijing.
Swedish counterpart Emma Soderberg stopped 30 of 39 shots for two periods before giving way to Ida Boman and her 15 saves.
Filler and Jenner are both one goal off the tournament record of nine held jointly by Canada's Meghan Agosta and Switzerland's Stephanie Marty (2010).
WATCH | Full Canada-Sweden quarter-final:
Canada has outscored its opposition 44-5 in Beijing for an average of almost nine goals per game.
"I wouldn't want to play against us," defender Jocelyne Larocque said.
Canada's head coach Troy Ryan wanted to cultivate among Olympic hopefuls the confidence to blitz the offensive zone with speed and flair.
"We did start talking in January of last year, we really wanted the group to be comfortable with making some mistakes while they try to get better offensively and sometimes you get good things from that," Ryan explained.
"One of the things we tried to talk about early on is, to make this team you had to be willing to make mistakes, you had to be willing to add to your game.
"It's not necessarily that we completely flipped the way we're doing things. We had such a good foundation of the defensive side of the game, that just adding a little bit of offence to that defensive structure is maybe what the group needed at this time."
1st Olympic game vs. Sweden since 2010
Canada attacked the Swedes in waves and relentlessly cycled in the offensive zone. Three acrobatic Soderberg saves held Canada to a one-goal lead until late in the opening period when the floodgates opened.
Canada made the most of Sweden's numerous tripping penalties with a 4-for-7 power play. The line of Poulin, Jenner and Nurse was a standout, generating multiple scoring chances below the hash marks.
Jenner collected her second hat trick of the tournament with her first coming in a 12-1 opening win over Switzerland.
"Sometimes when you're playing with Nurse and Poulin, they're just great players and they're able to find me. On the third one, Micah [Zandee-Hart] just made a great back-door pass, but I'm just trying to be ready to shoot the puck off the pass and luckily some of those are going in," said Jenner.
WATCH | Each one of Canada's goals in blowout victory over Sweden:
The Canadians were still minus forward Melodie Daoust, who hasn't played since her injury in the second period of that game.
Canada faced Sweden in Olympic women's hockey for the first time since 2010, when the hosts drubbed the Swedes 13-1 in Vancouver.
Sweden upset the United States in the Olympic semifinal in 2006 en route to a silver medal, but the team was enveloped by turmoil three years ago.
After the Swedes finished ninth and were relegated for the first time in the women's world championship, Sweden's players refused to attend a national-team camp and a tournament to start the following season to protest their financial compensation and working conditions.
The host Swedish hockey federation subsequently cancelled the 2019 Four Nations Cup featuring Canada, Finland and the U.S. in Lulea. The federation and the players came to an agreement later that year.
Sweden's women beat France in a November 2021 qualifying tournament to be in the 10-country field in Beijing.
"Now we've got a feel for what pace they're playing with at this level and we've got something to work towards," Soderberg said.
The Olympic semis are scheduled for Sunday and Monday, with the bronze and gold medal games scheduled for Wednesday.
The Canadians wrapped up the top spot in Group A thanks to a 4-2 win over the United States on Tuesday. Watch highlights from that game below.
WATCH | Canada fends off U.S. in preliminary action:
With a file from CBC Sports