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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 22:11 GMT
Canada cruise to ice hockey gold
The victorious Canadian women's team
The Canadian team celebrate their fourth goal in the final
Canada won their second consecutive Olympic women's ice hockey gold with a 4-1 win over Sweden in Turin on Monday.

It was the end of a dream for Sweden, who had hoped to pull off the biggest upset in women's ice hockey history.

The Swedes' shock 3-2 win over the USA to reach the final was the Americans' first Olympics or World Championship defeat by a European women's team.

In the bronze medal game, the Americans bounced back with a 4-0 victory over the Finns, who finish in fourth.

Canada capped a dominant performance in the Games by going ahead early with goals from Caroline Ouellette and Gillian Apps in the first period.

Cherie Piper and Jayna Hefford added two more in the second period, before Gunilla Anderson became only the second player in the tournament to beat Charline Lebonte with a consolation goal in the third period.

"This was extremely difficult. To defend the gold is harder than to win it the first time," said Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser, the tournament's most valuable player.

"The pressure is different, we had four years to prepare and all the hard work paid off."

Earlier, Katie King notched a hat-trick in the bronze medal match for the USA, who missed the Olympic final for the first time ever. Finland finished fourth.

Germany took fifth place with a 1-0 win over Russia, while in the seventh-eighth play-off, Switzerland beat Italy 11-0.




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