After scoring five goals apiece against the No. 3 and 4-ranked teams in the world in their opening two games of the 2022 Winter Olympics at Beijing, the United States women’s hockey team steamrolled the No. 5 ranked side in the world, Switzerland, 8-0, on Sunday.
Hillary Knight, Kelly Pannek, and Jesse Compher each recorded a pair of goals while seven American skaters in total recorded at least two points. Pannek led all skaters with three points to headline the United States’ big day.
Goalie Alex Cavallini’s day wasn’t nearly as eventful, but she did record a shutout at the Olympics by stopping all 12 shots that came her way. Meanwhile, the United States unleashed 66 shots on Switzerland’s goal.
The win temporarily drew them ahead of their hated rivals, Canada, for first place in the Group A standings. Canada plays the Russian Olympic Committee in a game that will conclude in the wee hours of Monday morning.
The Americans will then play Canada for the top spot in Group A in the final game of the preliminary round (Monday, 11:10 p.m. ET) in which the No. 1 seed of the group will play the weakest remaining opponent in the quarterfinals.
Canada has been even more dominant throughout the tournament, demolishing Switzerland 12-1 in their opener before skating through Finland by a score of 11-1.
Needless to say, Switzerland’s Olympic nightmare continued on Sunday against the Americans, who scored five goals in the first period, including two from Knight.
After her first of the day opened the scoring for the US 5:40 into the game, her second of the period came just nine seconds after Jesse Compher doubled the lead with 5:56 to go in the frame.
“You just have to take whatever opportunity present themselves,” Knight told NBC after the game. “The puck doesn’t go in unless you shoot it. I’m proud of our squad for being able to put it on net, getting in front, and making it messy.”
Compher picked up her second with 2:48 to go in the second period, bookending a second period that saw Pannek record her second of the day just 2:11 into the period — creating a 7-0 USA lead heading into the third.
While Switzerland’s netminder, Andrea Braendli, stood tall in her relief outing that began at the start of the second period — saving 41 of 44 shots — Dani Cameranesi scored the United States’ eighth and final goal of the day with 2:31 to go.