4/9/2007 11:28:00 PM
WINNIPEG (CP) - It's Canada and the U.S. again in the final of the women's world hockey championship.
Canada reached Tuesday's gold-medal game (TSN, 8:30 p.m. ET) with a 5-0 win over Finland on Monday to remain unbeaten in four games at the tournament.
The U.S. (3-1) is the defending champion. The Americans beat Canada 1-0 in a shootout two years ago in the world final in Linkoping, Sweden.
Canada won the Olympic gold medal last year and wants to reclaim the world title it held through eight championships before the U.S. took it from them.
The Canadians got by the U.S. 5-4 in a shootout Saturday, which primed the pump for an intense championship game at a sold-out MTS Centre.
The U.S. had Monday off and thus an extra day of rest after beating Finland 4-0 on Sunday.
Gina Kingsbury, Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette, Tessa Bonhomme and Kelly Bechard scored for Canada on Monday in front of 10,691 spectators.
Vicky Sunohara had three assists and Sarah Vaillancourt had a pair. Kim St. Pierre made 22 saves in the shutout.
Finland counterpart Noora Raty stopped 39 of 44 shots in the loss.
In other games Monday, Sweden beat Switzerland 3-0 and will play in Tuesday's bronze-medal game against Finland. Russia defeated Germany 4-0 in the relegation round.
Canada forced the Finns to the outside in the defensive zone to limit their shots on goal, while cycling the puck effectively through the offensive zone to create time and space for scoring chances.
The game opened up in the third period as Canada could afford to freewheel a little with healthy cushion. Finland gambled trying to score a goal.
Canadian head coach Melody Davidson continued to experiment with her forward lines and the trio of Goyette, Sunohara and Bechard bore fruit early as players from that line had a hand in Canada's first three goals.
Kingsbury fooled Raty with a fairly benign shot early in the third period as her off-speed attempt from just over the blue-line slipped under Raty's glove and pad at 1:36.
Wickenheiser scored her tournament-leading seventh goal 9:45 of the second period to make it 4-0. Vaillancourt fed the Canadian captain in the high slot and Wickenheiser whipped the puck through the legs of Raty.