1 of 5 | Team USA's Alex Carpenter celebrates after scoring a goal during a preliminary round Group A 2022 Winter Games women's hockey match against Finland on Thursday at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield and Alex Carpenter each scored twice to lead the defending gold medalist U.S. women's ice hockey team to a dominant win over Finland in its 2022 Winter Games debut Thursday in Beijing.
Fellow forward Amanda Kessel also logged a goal and an assist in the 5-2 triumph at the Wukesong Sports Center. Defender Savannah Harmon totaled two assists for the Americans in the Group A preliminary match.
Team USA forward Brianna Decker injured her left leg in the first period and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. USA Hockey said she is out for the remainder of the Olympics.
Kessel lit the goal lamp first at 10:37 into the game. Harmon skated behind the net to spark that score. She then passed off to Kessel near the left circle. Kessel took the puck and skated through defenders. She then finished the play with a shot just inside the right post.
Carpenter got the next score on a Team USA power play. Jincy Dunne and Kelly Pannek assisted that score, which came on a backhand snipe while Carpenter was inside the left circle.
Team USA carried the 2-0 lead into the second period. Coyne Schofield scores both of her goals in that period to double the advantage. Her first score came off assists from Jesse Compher and Cayla Barnes with 14:28 left in the period. She scored again about a minute later off assists from Harmon and Hilary Knight.
Forward Susanna Tapani scored the first of her two goals for Finland about 3:15 into the third period. Carpenter answered with another Team USA goal less than five minutes later.
Tapani scored the game's final goal with 2:20 remaining.
Earlier Thursday, Japan beat Sweden 3-1 in a Group B preliminary match. Canada beat Switzerland 12-1 in Group A. The Czech Republic beat China 3-1 in Group B.
Women's preliminary play continues with two games Friday in Beijing. Denmark faces China in Group B and Switzerland battles the Russian team in Group A.
Canada and Team USA each earned three points apiece, but Canada leads the group due to a better goal differential in its first victory.
Team USA battles the Russian team in another Group A match at 8:10 a.m. Saturday on USA.
USA's Kendall Coyne (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during their preliminary round Group A women's hockey match against Finland at the Wukesong Sports Center at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 3, 2022. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo