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2021 Women’s Worlds: Canada, USA set up showdown for gold

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For the 19th time, the two countries will play for the World Championship.

Finland v Canada: Group A - 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Mélodie Daoust scored two goals, and Ann-Renée Desbiens made 10 saves as Canada defeated Switzerland 4-0 on Monday night in the semi final of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship in Calgary.

The win sets up a showdown with the United States on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Americans defeated Finland 3-0 in their semi-final earlier in the day. Nicole Hensley made 14 saves in her shutout.

The Canadians started strong and once again scored in bunches with Renata Fast and Daoust scoring 1:38 apart in the first seven minutes of the game. They outshot Switzerland 20-2 in the first period, and 65-10 overall. Swiss goalie Andrea Brändli made 61 saves in a huge effort.

Switzerland will play Finland for the bronze medal.

“[Brändli’s] a huge part of why it’s only 4-0,” said Switzerland captain Lara Stalder. “We have to look forward, rest well because we have a bronze medal game tomorrow.”

Daoust scored her second goal of the game on the power play in the second period on a Marie-Philip Poulin shot that hit her skate, went up in the air, before bouncing in the net.

Daoust leads the tournament in scoring, with six goals and six assists in six games. Rebecca Johnston finished the scoring with her second goal of the tournament with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

Daoust was named one of the top players for Canada in the tournament, and shared a special moment with her son Mathéo after the game. She hasn’t been able to be too close to him because the team is in a bubble in this tournament, and the team had been in Calgary for camp prior to that.

“It’s been way too long,” Daoust said about the time away from her son. “It’s been 40+ days that we’ve been here in Calgary. It’s been a challenge for sure but I’m happy I’ve been around my friends. He’s the reason I’m here and I want to show him that if you have a dream, you can go for it. I hope he’s going to be proud of me.”

Despite playing in two Olympics, it will also be Daoust’s first World Championship gold medal game. In 2019, her first World Championship, she had to settle for bronze. Injuries and other roster decisions meant she was always on the outside looking in.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “It was a long road, a lot of ups and downs with injuries [...] It’s going to mean the world. We’ve been waiting for this moment.”

Canada is coming off of a 5-1 round robin win against the United States, but both teams will look to improve for Tuesday’s gold medal game.

“There were some good things that came out of that game but there are plenty of things that we want to improve on,” said Canada head coach Troy Ryan. “We expect them to be better, and we expect ourselves to be better so it should be a good game.”

On top of the bronze and gold medal games, the Russian Olympic Committee will face Japan to see who will finish fifth and be in Group A at the 2023 World Championship.