Russian women advance to semifinals beating Switzerland 6-2

Pyeongchang Olympics Ice Hockey Women_315200

Goalie Florence Schelling (41), of Switzerland, reacts as the Olympic Athletes from Russia team celebrates a goal by Viktoria Kulishova (73) during the second period of the quarterfinal round of the women’s hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) Anna Shokhina had two goals and two assists as the team of Olympic athletes from Russia advanced to the women’s hockey semifinals against defending gold medalist Canada with an upset 6-2 win over Switzerland.

The Swiss, the 2014 bronze medalist, came into the quarterfinals undefeated in winning Group B and had given up only two goals in three games.

With Russia banned from these games following revelations of a massive doping operation, these women are competing under the Olympic flag. The International Olympic Committee cleared 168 competitors, but the women were missing six players from this team.

Russia has never won a women’s hockey medal as a country at the Olympics, and this team came in having scored only once in losing to Canada, the United States and Finland in Group A. But Russia did rank fourth in the world in 2017.

Yelena Dergachyova had a goal and two assists. Viktoria Kulishova, Liana Ganeyeva and Olga Sosina had a goal apiece to set up a rematch with Canada on Monday. Canada beat the Russians 5-0 in its Olympic opener.

Shokhina scored first short-handed with a second left on a 5-on-3. The Russian forward dug the puck out from the side boards away from Lara Stalder and took off on a breakaway, skating across and beating Florence Schelling’s stick for a 1-0 lead at 7:22 of the first period.

Alina Muller tied it up 48 seconds into the second period. She got a pass around the Swiss’ defensive blue line and skated on her own breakaway through two defenders before beating Nedezhda Morozova with a backhand for her seventh goal and 10th point of this tournament. Stalder made it 2-1 with a power-play goal, putting a wrister top shelf from the slot at 11:47.

The Russians answered when Kulishova tapped a rebound into the open net behind Schelling at 13:53. Ganeyeva gave the Russians the lead at 18:53.

They sealed their spot in the medal round with three more goals in the third.

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