The semifinals are here and Finland & the United States once again cross paths with a chance to play for a gold medal. The Finns are in search of their fourth Olympic medal, while Team USA is gunning for their seventh.
How to Watch
Monday, Feb. 15, 8:10 a.m. EST
- United States (EN): USA Network, Peacock
- Canada (EN): CBC.ca, CBC Gem, CBC TV channels
Quarterfinal Round Recap
Finland (beat Japan 7-1)
The Finns picked up only their second win in Beijing by routing Japan, but now they’ve won two straight. Petra Nieminen was on fire with five points (3g-2a) to help Finland advance to the semifinals for the sixth time at the Olympics.
USA (beat Czechia 4-1)
The Czechs gave the US a scare in the last game before the Americans salted the game away late. Despite outshooting the Czechs 59-6 the US found themselves trailing 1-0, but it lasted less than a minute.
Keys to the Game
- Keep scoring. With 12 goals over their last two contests, they have more tallies than the Americans did in their last two games. They’ve beaten Team USA before and there’s no doubt they believe they can pull off the feat again.
- Good Vibes. The first time the Finns ever beat Team USA was at the 2008 World Championships which were held in China, so they’ll be looking to turn that trick again.
- Score First. Put a little doubt into your opponent's heads. The longer they can stay even or ahead of the Americans, the better chance they’ll have of advancing to the gold medal game for the first time ever at the Olympics.
- Keep shooting. There is no such thing as a bad shot and the Americans need to fire the puck from every angle possible, from everywhere on the ice. Put their netminder under siege and wear her out.
- Do it for Decker. Despite the fact that Brianna Decker isn’t available to them on the ice after a gruesome injury in the tournament opener, she is still a part of the squad and will be right there on the sidelines rooting for them.
- Use your size and speed. The Americans have many distinct advantages, but their size is probably their biggest. Create traffic in front of the Finns net, block shots and passes at every attempt.
Finland: Petra Nieminen
She’s the leading scorer for the Finns and one of the hottest players left in the tournament right now. If she can duplicate half of what she did against Japan, we might just see the upset of the tournament.
USA: Lee Stecklein
She only has one goal in these Olympics, but it was the GWG. Not only will they rely on her shot from the blue line, but also her defensive prowess and reach will be a pain in the butt for the Finns if she is on her game. Especially against dynamic players like the aforementioned Nieminen.