The US and Canada advanced to the 2010 Gold Medal game, while Finland and Sweden will play for bronze.

This year saw a large number of lopsided scores on the women’s side, particularly an 18-0 drubbing by Canada on the first day.

But, I think the future of women’s hockey at the Winter Games is safe. For now. Finland played two very strong games against perennial powerhouses USA and Canada. The Finns established themselves as a solid number three team in the world of women’s hockey. A few more years and the Finns will be right with the USA and Canada in terms of competitiveness.

However, Sweden did quite a bit to hurt the sport. As did the Canadians. The latter never stepped off the gas pedal in all of their lopsided wins. The USA were guilty of the same thing, but the Americans took their foot off the pedal much earlier in their wins.

Sweden, the reigning silver medalists, did not impress in any of their wins. Especially a 13-1 loss to Canada and a 6-2 win over Slovakia – a game in which the Slovaks held a 2-2 tie for some time.

So long as the second-tier teams can establish themselves as something more than a 5-goal underdog to the Big Four, then the sport will survive. The biggest issue will be if these teams can get to that point in four years time.

Until then, it will be another US/Canada gold medal game. I feel that the US squad has enough talent to win, but the Canadians have the firepower that will win gold.

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