Knight sets women’s world hockey scoring record in US win

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Hilary Knight, left, of the United States, celebrates her goal as Russia’s Ilona Markova looks on during second period IIHF Women’s World Championship hockey action in Calgary, Alberta, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Hilary Knight became the all-time scoring leader in women’s hockey world championship history with her 45th goal during the United States’ 6-0 victory over Russia on Tuesday.

Knight snapped a tie with former U.S. star Cammi Granato at 3:17 of the second period. The 32-year-old split two defenders with a cutback to find an open shooting lane for a 2-0 lead.

“It’s really a magical moment, and a dream come true,” Knight said. “I hope the next girl looking up is going to shatter that record, because that’s what it’s all about.”

The goal also moved Knight into a tie with Granato for the U.S. record of 78 points at worlds, and Brianna Decker became the U.S. assists leader (39) with the pass to Knight.

“It’s always incredible to watch players make history,” U.S. coach Joel Johnson said. “But to have it happen for two players on the same scoring chance and to see how exciting it was for the whole team was really special to be a part of and I think everyone recognizes that.”

The five-time defending champion Americans took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Britta Curl knocked home a rebound of Grace Zumwinkle’s shot.

Lee Stecklein made it 3-0 late in the second period with a shot from the blue line, and the U.S. broke it open in the third with three goals in five minutes. Kelly Pannek ended a power-play drought for a 4-0 lead, Abbey Murphy scored her first goal to force a goalie change, and Jesse Compher capped the scoring.

The U.S. (3-0) has started the tournament with three straight shutouts for the third time (2001, 2009). The U.S. looks to extend a 29-game winning streak on Thursday in a showdown against Canada.

Russia (1-2), which was outshot 55-11 in its sixth straight loss to the U.S., faces Finland on Wednesday.

In the other Group A game, Natalie Spooner scored twice to lead Canada to a 5-0 win over Switzerland.

Canada scored three times in a five-minute span during the second period. Emily Clark knocked in a loose puck for a short-handed goal, and Jaime Bourbonnais and Spooner scored 17 seconds apart for a 3-0 advantage. Melodie Daoust scored her second goal of the tournament for Canada’s fourth of the period.

Spooner tipped in her second goal at the 1:01 mark of the third, and Switzerland switched to goaltender Saskia Maurer.

Canadian goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, in her first start, denied Lara Stalder’s breakaway attempt in the final minute of the second. Switzerland’s other good scoring chance came early in the third during a 5-on-3 for 85 seconds, but Maschmeyer kept them scoreless for her second career shutout.

Canada (3-0) has yet to score a first-period goal in the tournament but has outscored opponents 9-0 in the second.

Switzerland (0-3), which has never defeated Canada, will play Finland on Thursday. The Swiss have been held to just one goal in the tournament.

Haruna Yoneyama and Hanae Kubo scored just 71 seconds apart midway through the third period to give Japan a 4-1 win over Hungary in the late Pool B game. Japan improved to 2-1, and Hungary dropped to 0-3.

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