GANGNEUNG, South Korea – The drill looked monotonous. Over and over, the U.S. women's hockey team worked on crashing the net in search of scoring opportunities in practice on Sunday.
They focused on that same thing in practice the previous day, too. And the day before that.
"Seems like a decent plan," Coach Robb Stauber said. "Now, we've got execute and get the puck across the goal line."
Just like that, their practice paid off.
Less than three minutes into the first period of the women's Olympic semifinal, Warroad's Gigi Marvin parked in front of the goal, took a pass from Meghan Duggan from behind the net and buried it to give Team USA a 1-0 lead over Finland.
Funny how that works.
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The barrage didn't let up. The Americans scored twice in the first period, twice in the second and rolled over Finland 5-0 at the Gangneung Hockey Center to punch their ticket to the gold medal game.
The offensive output came as a relief to the U.S. after scoring only nine goals total in three preliminary games.
"We put our attention on scoring," Stauber said. "When you're out-shooting teams 2-to-1 and you're barely winning or not scoring as much as you'd like, what else are you going to repeat?"
Speaking of repeat, the gold medal game could look awfully familiar.