COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Canada and the United States clashed on Saturday with second comfortable wins at the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship.
The only world champions in the history of the women’s world meet on Tuesday in the final group match and will contest the final next weekend.
In Herning, Canada beat Switzerland 4-1 after the United States defeated Finland 6-1.
Sweden and the Czech Republic also improved their records in Frederikshavn to 2-0. Sweden beat Germany 4-3 in extra time and the Czech Republic defeated hosts Denmark 5-1.
Canada were dominant and deserved the win, but the game was notable for Switzerland’s first goal (1-1) against the Canadians at a World Cup.
Alina Marti scored eight previous Swiss shutouts against Canada in the third period, trailing 3-1.
Sarah Filler scored the only goal of the first period, her second in the second, followed by Emily Clark.
Marti was next on the scoreboard but Canada dampened budding Swiss hopes thanks to Blayre Turnbull.
The Americans were too quick and skilful for Finland (0-2), who were surpassed with a massive 72-16.
First-half stats alone were 28-2, but USA scored just once from Jincy Dinne. The Finns were chalked up a goal for a hook penalty.
The second half made it 2-0 after Cayla Barnes’ shot put the lead from Abby Roque, then Amanda Kessel, sister of NHL veteran Phil Kessel, rebounded.
The Finns scored in the third through Ella Viitasuo after a faceoff loss, but the USA were unthreatened and ended with goals from Kessel – their second – Hannah Bilka and Hannah Brandt.
It’s been a big week for the Kessel family as Phil signed a one-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.
Hanna Olsson, who scored a hat-trick against Denmark, scored for Sweden in regular time and won the penalty shoot-out against Germany (0-2).
Germany trailed 3-0 with three power-play goals in the final eight minutes of regular time. Tanya Eisenschmid, just after helping her sister Nicola, equalized with 42 seconds remaining to force overtime.
But Sweden reset. Goalkeeper Emma Söderberg stopped four German shots and Mira Jungaker and Olsson scored.
Denmark (0-2) scored the opening goal, a lucky strike on the power play, but led the Czech Republic for just five minutes.
Katerina Mrazova equalized and Natalie Mlynkova put her ahead in a 5v3 powerplay. In the third half there were goals from Michaela Pejzlova and two goals for defender Daniela Pesjova.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.