Updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2014 03:45 | By Agence France-Presse

USA rout Sweden to reach women's hockey final in Sochi

Alex Carpenter and Kacey Bellamy scored just 66 seconds apart in the first period as the United States crushed Sweden 6-1 on Monday to reach the final of the Olympic women's ice hockey tournament.

USA rout Sweden to reach women's hockey final in Sochi

US Kacey Bellamy (R) celebrates with her teammates after scoring a goal during the Women's Ice Hockey Semifinals USA vs Sweden at the Shayba Arena during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 17, 2014 - by Jonathan Nackstrand

The Americans dominated the semi-final from the opening faceoff, holding a whopping 29-1 shot advantage in the first period, with Sweden not managing their first shot until nearly 14 minutes into the contest.

Amanda Kessel, Megan Bozek, Brianna Decker and Monique Lamoureux also scored for the Americans, who have now beaten Sweden 12 out of the past 13 times they have faced each other in major international games.

"It's awesome," said American forward Lamoureux. "I think it's something we were expected to do. We've been preparing for it for the last four years and putting in a lot of work."

Jessie Vetter made just eight saves for the USA while Swedish goaltenders Valentina Wallner and Kim Martin Hasson faced 70 shots between them.

Valentina was especially busy as the United States peppered her with 47 shots in 32:21 minutes of playing time.

"They showed they are one of the best teams in the world," said Swedish coach Niclas Hoegberg.

If Canada win the second semi-final later Monday, as expected against Switzerland, it will mark the fourth time in the past five Olympics, the USA and Canada have faced each other in the gold medal game.

The USA won four straight games against Canada in a pre-Olympic exhibition series including one by a commanding 5-1 score.

But the Canadians beat the US 3-2 in a preliminary round game of the Sochi tournament.

Reigning world champions the USA have 65,700 registered female hockey players in the country compared to just over 3,000 for the Swedes.

The lopsided score also underlines the continued huge variations in quality in the women's game.

Carpenter opened the scoring on the powerplay in the first period for the Americans on a lucky bounce. Her shot from directly in the front of the net was going wide but it hit the knee of Swedish defenceman Emilia Andersson.

Defenceman Bellamy made it 2-0 just 66 seconds later when her shot from the point beat a screened Swedish netminder Wallner.

Kessel scored 11:19 into the period to make it 3-0. The USA added two more goals in the second period and one in the third.

Anna Borgqvist scored the consolation goal for the Swedes.

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