Canada and the United States were locked in a bitter war of words as both teams comfortably completed their Winter Olympics women's ice hockey preliminary round programme.
Defending champions Canada conceded their first goal of the tournament but still hammered Sweden 8-1 while the United States rallied to beat Finland 7-3 to set themselves on course for another Olympic finals clash.
Canada finished the opening stage with a 3-0 winning record and 36-1 scoring record but their tactics invited nothing but scorn from the United States.
American defenceman Angela Ruggiero blasted the Canadians saying they being selfish by blowing out the other teams.
Canada beat Italy 16-0 and Russia 12-0 in the first two games.
"I'm upset that Canada has been running up the score, especially against the host nation," Ruggiero told Sports Illustrated.
"There was no need for that. They're trying to pad their stats. Canada is running up the score for whatever reasons - personal, short-term."
However, Canadian forward Danielle Goyette denied that they were going for personal glory.
"One of the tiebreakers is goals scored and we know that," said Goyette.
"We are just playing well and getting better as the tournament goes on. We are in the Olympics and we have to give it our best."
The first 12 games have gone according to script.
Canada and the United States finished top of the A and B pools. The match winners have outscored the losers 82-7 overall.
Since international play began in 1990, the USA and Canada have won every championship and gold medal handed out.
On the ice Tuesday, Canada showed some signs of being human by finally conceding their first goal but it was a minor blip on their way to another one-sided win.
Ylva Lindberg scored the lone goal for the Swedes but she still couldn't prevent her team from losing 8-1 in the Group A preliminary.
In other games, Germany edged Switzerland 2-1 and Russia defeated Italy 5-1.
The United States will now meet Sweden, the second place team in Group A, while Canada takes on Group B runner-up Finland in the semi-finals on Friday.
On Tuesday, forward Gillian Apps, who is the granddaughter of Hall-of-Famer Syl Apps who won three Stanley Cups in the 1940s, opened the scoring for Canada at 4:36 of the first period before scoring twice more in the second.
Goyette, with two, Katie Weatherston, Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford also scored for Canada.
Cecilia Andersson made 39 stops for Sweden while Kim St-Pierre made just seven saves for Canada.
Ruggiero and Sarah Parsons scored two goals each for the Americans who had their hands full with the Finns until finally seizing control.
Finland led 3-2 heading into the final period but couldn't hold the lead as they were outshot 31-15 overall but got solid goaltending from Maija Hassinen.
Emma Laaksonen, Mari Pehkonen and Kati Kovalainen scored for Finland which finished with a 2-1 record.
The Americans were a perfect 3-0 as they outscored their opponents 18-3 in the preliminary round.
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