US set for hockey showdown with Canada after routing Swiss

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The United States warmed up for its group showdown with Canada by blitzing Switzerland 9-0 at the world women’s ice hockey championship on Monday.

The U.S. matched Canada with 3-0 records. Their Group A closer on Tuesday, also in Herning, is expected to be a preview of the final on Sunday.

Czechia also improved to 3-0 after dominating winless Germany 6-0 in Group B.

Seven different Americans scored, including two each for Hilary Knight and Taylor Heise, who bagged her first goals for the U.S.

Heise’s pair led the U.S. to 4-0 after the first period.

Knight’s pair increased her career tally of world championship points to 83, tied for second in tournament history. Hayley Wickenhesier has the record of 86.

The Swiss pulled goalkeeper Andrea Braendli after the first period, perhaps to save her for the more crucial game against Finland on Tuesday for third-fourth in their group.

Finland got its first win at Japan’s expense, 9-3. Viivi Vainikka had two goals and an assist. The win followed losses to Canada and the U.S.

Japan finished group play with no wins.

Czechia remained unbeaten and Germany remained winless at 0-3.

All six Czech goals were scored by different players in Frederikshavn. Defender Dominika Laskova has six assists in these worlds so far.

Sweden confirmed a top-two place behind the Czechs after beating Hungary 3-2 in its second consecutive shootout win.

Hungary rallied twice from a goal down to force overtime.

Hungary and the Swedes went to a shootout and missed the first 15 combined attempts — the post was hit by Sweden’s Hanna Olsson and Nylen Persson and Hungary’s Alexandra Huszak — until Olsson scored her second straight match-winning shootout goal.

Sweden and Czechia meet for the group win on Tuesday.

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