Johnston easily beat Morozova's glove at 1:55 of the second to open the scoring. After surrendering a goal in the final seconds of the first period, the Americans struck twice in the middle frame, and added an empty netter in the closing minute. The U.S. will rely on their top line consisting of Coyne, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel to produce offensively throughout the tournament as they try to avenge their gut-wrenching loss against Canada in the gold-medal game during the 2014 Sochi Games. Taking a ideal feed, Johnston hammered it into the open net.
That balance and depth wore down the Russians. Towards the end of the period, Melanie Daoust picked up a goal of her own to make it 3-0 Canada.
The assault carried over into the second quarter and the breakthrough came quickly. "We didn't get frustrated at all". Former Badger Ann-Renee Desbiens had 18 saves in the shutout victory.
The controversy surrounding Russian athletes' participation at the Games could be felt significantly at Kwandong Hockey Center as Canada seemed to delight in clinically dismantling a Russian team that had six of its players, including leading scorer Yekaterina Smolentseva, banned for life by the International Olympic Committee over doping allegations linked to the 2014 Sochi Games.
Canada has won gold at four straight Olympics since losing to the United States when women's hockey debuted at the 1998 Nagano Games and the expectation is that the Americans will once again be the prime obstacle to gold.
The absent players "didn't affect the spirit of the team", Russian coach Alexei Chistyakov said through an interpreter.
Sam Edney competes in the third run of Sunday’s men’s luge final. Mark Ralston AFP Getty Images
"It was great they were able to field a team".
Johnston grabbed her final goal of the night-Canada's fourth-midway through the final period.
Captain Marie-Philip Poulin started the third goal with a pass as she was falling in the neutral zone to Meghan Agosta. "That's what we did and in the second and third we put the puck in and [we're] really happy with that". Irwin redirected a long shot from Johnston at 4:13 for a power-play goal 9 seconds into the man advantage for a 2-0 lead, and the Canadians only cranked up their attack on the net.
The crafty winger kicked off her third Olympics with a bang, as she spearheaded Canada's offense against the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation with two goals and an assist.
"It was honest hockey, blue-collared hockey, not be scared to get physical, get pucks in behind them and win foot races", said Schuler.