International Ice Hockey Federation

Americans win 6-0

Americans win 6-0

Goalie Tarakanova sets games played record

Published 09.01.2016 19:22 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Americans win 6-0
ST. CATHARINES, CANADA - JANUARY 09: United States' Alex Woken #20 crashes into Russia's goaltender Valeria Tarakanova #1 during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Team USA stayed patient after a scoreless first period and got goals from four players in the second, skating to a convincing win over Russia.

The win gives the U.S. top spot in Group A with six points and a 2-0 record.

Alex Gulstene stopped just eleven shots to record the shutout for the winners.

Russian goaltender Valeria Tarakanova played well, but she couldn’t hold the fort in rhe middle frame. All four goals were scored from close range off rebounds or loose pucks of one sort or another.

By playing in the game, though, Tarakanova set a WW18 record for a goalie, appearing in her 11th career game (in three tournaments).

"I didn’t know that," Tarakanova said, "but it’s nice that my name will be in the record book somewhere."

Natalie Snodgrass opened the scoring at 4:49 off a close-in rebound, and Emily Oden made it 2-0 at 10:18 on another loose puck Tarakanova couldn’t track.

"After the first period, our coach told us it was important to get the first goal," Snodgrass said. "He wanted to see some leadership from the returning players, but I think every line came out strong to start the second period and we took it to them. We generated a lot of offense and got a lot of shots, went hard to the net."

Rebecca Gilmore and Sydney Brodt put the icing on the cake to make it 4-0, giving the U.S. its seventh straight win over Russia at the WW18 event in as many meetings. The goal differential in those games has been 60-2, highlighting not only the U.S. firepower but Russia’s inability to mount much offense and put the puck in the net.

Coach Alexander Ulyankin gave Tarakanova a rest for the final period, and the Americans welcomed Valeria Merkusheva with two quick goals to make it 6-0. Alex Woken got the first, on a nice shot from the slot, and Gilmore got her second of the game less than a minute later.

Russia's best chance for a goal came midway through the final period when Polina Bolgareva was set free on a breakaway, but her shot was nicely blocked by Gulstene.

The win sets up the most anticipated game of the Preliminary Round as Canada and the U.S. face off on Monday night with first place almost certainly on the line. The Russians will face the Czechs earlier in the day.


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