United States 7, Italy 1
LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP) _ The U.S. hockey team earned a medal-round berth by beating Italy 7-1 tonight, the Americans’ first victory of the Olympics.
Looking for its first medal since 1980, the United States (1-1-3) finished fourth in Pool B preliminary round play and will meet Finland (5-0), the top Pool A qualifier, in a Wednesday quarterfinal.
The Americans led 5-0 before the game was 15 minutes old, Peter Ferraro scoring twice, and were never threatened. It was their first lead of more than one goal in the Olympics.
The U.S. team, which also had a third-period lead for the first time in the tournament, snapped a six-game Olympic winless streak dating back to the 1992 semifinals. It outshot the Italians 47-16.
Italy (1-4), made up mostly of Canadians and Americans of Italian descent, could have made the medal round with a win.
David Delfino, a Boston-area native whose grandfather was Italian, lasted only 8:58 in Italy’s net and left trailing 3-0 on goals by Peter Ciavaglia, Ferraro and David Sacco.
David Roberts and Ferraro then scored against backup goalie Bruno Campese before a goal by Italy’s Emilio Iovio made it 5-1 after one.
U.S. goaltender Garth Snow was barely tested in his third Olympic start. The Americans didn’t even need a goalie to lead after the first period; they had more goals than Italy had shots (four).
Brian Rolston added one goal in each of the second and third periods, tying him for the Olympic lead with seven goals.