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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 09:09 GMT

US women breeze past China

The US women's ice hockey team cruised to a easy 12-1 victory over China in the Salt Lake City preliminaries on Thursday.

The defending Olympic champions easily rolled past their group B opponents in a lop-sided game, but conceded their first goal of the tournament.

The Americans speeded to a 7-0 lead over China before Xiuqing Yang broke the Americans' 96-minute shutout streak.

"We just wanted to come out and play our game - play hard and pass the puck well"
Laurie Baker
US women's team

The gold medallists at Nagano then scored five more goals to leave them atop Group B with four points from two games, while China remain winless.

Katie King had a pair of goals and two assists in the game.

"We just wanted to come out and play our game - play hard and pass the puck well," said American forward Laurie Baker, who also scored two goals.

In the day's other Group B game, Finland stays unbeaten in the tournament after a 3-1 win over Germany.

Katja Riipi scored a goal and an assist to pace the Finns.

In the men's ice hockey, Switzerland beat Austria 4-1 in the 11th-place game play-off.

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