The Canadian women’s hockey team defeated the Olympic Athletes of Russia 5-0 to advance them to the gold medal final against the U.S. Photo courtesy of Team Canada/Twitter

Okanagan Hockey Academy alum nets first Olympic goal in semifinal win

Canada will face the U.S. inwomen’s hockey gold medal final of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Emily Clark scored her first goal as Canada defeated the Olympic Athletes of Russia 5-0 in the semifinals of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

The win pushes Canada into the gold medal game against the U.S., who defeated Finland 5-0 in the other semifinal.

Clark, an alum of Okanagan Hockey Academy, scored in the third period to give Canada a 4-0 lead.

“It was absolutely amazing, this year I’ve struggled a little bit in that department but my teammates have done nothing but build me up,” said Clark after the game. “The belief that they had in me definitely helped me believe in myself and to be able to share that moment with them tonight is a moment I’ll never forget.”

The all-rookie line connected as Laura Stacey put out an extra effort to get the puck to the front of the net as she was tripped up while rushing the puck down the right side. Sliding into the corner she managed to hook her stick on the puck and throw it to the OAR crease. The goaltender then redirected the puck right to the front of the net where Clark was waiting and batted the puck to the back of the net.

Related: Okanagan Hockey Academy helped Clark pursue Olympic dream

Canadian forward Jennifer Wakefield gave Canada an early 1-0 lead 1:50 into the game. Captain Marie-Phillip Poulin backhanded a shot over the OAR goalie’s glove early in the second period to make it 2-0. Wakefield then pitched in for another goal just 1:59 in to the final frame. That was followed up 31 seconds later with Clark’s goal. Rebecca Johnston finished off the game with a power play marker at 14:08.

Goaltender Shannon Szabados had to make 14 saves to earn the shutout, while Canada pelted OAR goalies with 47 shots.

Canada has four straight gold medals in women’s ice hockey and is riding a 23-game Olympic winning streak into the final. They last lost the gold medal against the U.S. at Nagano in 1998, the first year that women’s ice hockey appeared in the Games. If they win a fifth gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Canada will be the first team in any sport at the Winter Olympics to accomplish that feat.

Canada will face the U.S. on Feb. 21 in the gold medal final at 8:10 p.m. (PST). The bronze medal game will be played between OAR and Finland on Feb. 21 at 10:40 a.m. (EST).

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