Ice Hockey: U.S. women ease past Finland into final

Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Noora Raty of Finland misses on saving a goal scored by Dani Cameranesi of the U.S. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Riikka Valila of Finland (L) and Megan Keller of U.S. in action. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Platers of Team USA pose for pictures. REUTERS/Matt Slocum/Pool
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Close-up view of the back of the helmet of goalie Madeline Rooney of U.S. REUTERS/David W. Cerny TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Noora Raty of Finland reacts after Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson of the U.S. scored a goal. REUTERS/Matt Slocum/Pool
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Gigi Marvin of U.S. reacts after leaving ice surface after the game. REUTERS/David W. Cerny
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Hannah Brandt of the U.S. in action with Riikka Valila of Finland. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Hannah Brandt, Kelly Pannek and Dani Cameranesi of the U.S. celebrate a goal scored by team mate Hilary Knight. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland in action. REUTERS/Matt Slocum/Pool
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Kacey Bellamy of U.S. (L) and Jenni Hiirikoski of Finland in action. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Hannah Brandt of U.S. and Mira Jalosuo of Finland (R) in action. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Team USA celebrate their win. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Michelle Karvinen of Finland (L) and Jocelyne Lamoureux of U.S. embrace after the game. REUTERS/David W. Cerny
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland- Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Players Team USA celebrate their win. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Semifinal Match - U.S. v Finland - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - Brianna Decker of U.S. talks with officials. REUTERS/David W. Cerny

By Dan Burns

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - The U.S. cruised into their third straight women's Olympic ice hockey final on Monday, shutting down Finland 5-0 in the semis with two goals by Dani Cameranesi and a shutout from goaltender Maddie Rooney.

In the kind of offensive burst U.S. coach Robb Stauber has been waiting for, the Americans, silver medalists in Sochi and Vancouver, converted on three of six powerplays. Heading into the game the U.S. had been one-for-11 on the powerplay during the tournament.

"I look at the shots on goal and we maybe had 39 tonight," Stauber said. "The other nights we had 44, 50 etc and we didn't score as much. Our plan coming in was to repeat the good habits that we talked about earlier in the tournament. You're going to get rewarded."

The Americans, showing little resemblance to the team that had to come from behind against Finland in their first meeting, went out front early in the first period.

Captain Meghan Duggan fed line mate Gigi Marvin in the slot and she one-timed it past goaltender Noora Raty.

Cameranesi intercepted an attempted clearing pass and skated uncontested in on Raty before going top shelf with a wrist shot.

The U.S. broke it open in the second period on two powerplay goals 34 seconds apart.

Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson blasted a slap shot past Raty with two seconds remaining on a two-player advantage and Hilary Knight made it 4-0, redirecting a shot from the point by Sidney Morin.

Cameranesi's second came inside the first minute of the third period, again on the powerplay.

Amanda Kessel, sister of Pittsburg Penguins forward Phil, took a cross ice pass and fed the puck low to Hannah Brandt. She quickly got it to Cameranesi who beat Raty high on the glove side.

PHYSICAL CONTEST

For a game meant to be free of body- checking, it was a very physical contest, with the biggest hit delivered on Finland defenseman Ronja Savolainen by Duggan.

As Savolainen was clearing her zone, Duggan rammed into her and sent her sprawling.

She hit the sidewall face first and rolled on to her back before being helped to the dressing-room by team mates and coaches.

No penalty was assessed and Savolainen returned for limited action in the second and third periods.

"It was an open-ice hit and you can't body-check in women's hockey so that should have been a penalty," Raty said. "Obviously, the ref decided it wasn't."

The U.S. must await the outcome of Monday's late game between four-times gold medalists Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia to see who they play in Thursday's final.

"Tonight we beat a very good goaltender and a very good hockey team," Stauber said. "This was really a gold medal preparation for us because they're a darn good team."

It is the fifth gold medal game appearance in six Olympic tournaments for the American women who won the first women's ice hockey tournament in 1998. Canada have won all four since.

Finland proceed to the bronze medal game on Wednesday against the loser of the Canada-Russia game. The Finns have won bronze twice, in 1998 and 2010.

(Reporting by Dan Burns,; editing by Ed Osmond)

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