JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
SOCHI, Russia (AP) â?? Monique Lamoureux, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel all scored within 55 seconds in the first period as the United States romped to a 9-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday to all-but clinch a spot in the Olympic women's hockey semifinals.
It was the quickest three-goal sequence in Olympic history, with the latter two coming just eight seconds apart.
Kessel, Lamoureux and Kendall Coyne all scored twice for the Americans, and Molly Schaus made 10 saves in her Sochi debut. With a 2-0 winning record, the U.S. is in position for a spot in the medal round regardless of what happens on Wednesday in the game against Canada, the marquee matchup of the round-robin.
Canada was scheduled to play Finland on Monday night in its last tuneup before the North American grudge match.
Switzerland lost for the second time and likely is headed for a spot in the quarterfinals against one of the top two teams in the bottom-tier.
Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States, which led 5-0 after one period and outshot the Swiss 53-10. Florence Schelling, who played at Northeastern, made 42 saves for Switzerland against Schaus, of Boston College, on the morning of the Beanpot finals where their schools will play for the men's hockey bragging rights of Boston.
The biggest mismatch so far in the women's hockey round-robin was scoreless for half a period before Lamoureaux gave the Americans the lead and Decker added one 47 seconds later. Kessel got the puck off the ensuing faceoff, skated into the zone on the left side, passed the puck to herself off the boards to get around a defender and then cut in front of the net, where she beat Schelling.
Lamoreaux made it 6-0 in the second period. In the third period, Coyne had a shot that convinced the goal judge to turn on the red light, but play continued until Kessel put the puck in the net a few minutes later. After video review, Coyne's goal was verified and the time was put back on the clock, negating Kessel's apparent score.
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