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U.S. OLYMPIC WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY TEAM BLANKS CHINA IN OPENING GAME

NAGANO, Japan (February 8) -- Forward Cammi Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.) scored two goals and Katie King (Salem, N.H.) registered two assists as the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team blanked China, 5-0, in the opening game for both teams at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games here Sunday evening.

Forwards Jenny Schmidgall (Edina, Minn.) and Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wis.) and defenseman Tara Mounsey (Concord, N.H.) added one goal and one assist each to help pace the United States.

The U.S. built a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the first period when Granato, the team captain, scored a power-play goal off of assists from forward Gretchen Ulion (Marlborough, Conn.) and Schmidgall. It was the first U.S. goal in the history of women's Olympic competition and was registered by the all-time leading scorer in the United States Women's National Team Program. The U.S. stretched its lead to 2-0 at 19:17 of the first period with a power-play goal from Bye, which was set-up by a feed from Mounsey.

Mounsey scored at 14:53 of the second period to give the United States a 3-0 advantage, and Team USA padded its lead in the third with goals from Schmidgall and Granato.

The United States controlled the game throughout, limiting China to just 10 shots on goal and none in the first period. Team USA goaltender Sarah Tueting (Winnetka, Ill.) turned aside all 10 shots she faced to earn the victory, while China's Hong Guo stopped 26 of 31 shots.

The United States (1-0-0) continues round-robin play Monday against Sweden (0-1-0), while China (0-1-0) faces Canada (1-0-0). Face-off for the USA-Sweden game is set for 4:00 p.m. in Aqua Wing Arena.

SCORING SUMMARY
Team USA 2 1 2 -- 5
Team China 0 0 0 -- 0

First period -- Scoring: 1, USA, Granato (Ulion, Schmidgall), 7:39 (pp). 2, USA, Bye (Mounsey), 19:17 (pp). Penalties: Ma, China (interference), 2:51; Yang, China (elbowing), 6:00; Bye, USA (interference), 16:24; Gong, China (body checking), 19:10.

Second period -- Scoring: 3, USA, Mounsey (King), 14:53. Penalties: Mounsey, USA (roughing), 1:50; Sang, China (tripping), 11:16; Li, China (high sticking), 11:32; Liu, China (body checking), 20:00.

Third period -- Scoring: 4, USA, Schmidgall (Bye), 11:05. 5, USA, Granato (King), 16:20. Penalties: Merz, USA (high sticking), 4:19; Schmidgall, USA (hooking), 8:47; Mleczko, USA (cross checking), 13:43; Wang, China (elbowing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal -- USA 10-11-10 -- 31; China 0-6-4 -- 10.

Goalies -- USA, Tueting (10 shots, 10 saves); China, Guo (31 shots, 26 saves).

Penalties -- USA 5/10; China 7/14.

Power Plays -- USA 2/5; China 0/5.

Attendance -- 3,255.


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