American rips Canada for lopsided wins

Meghan Agosta

Meghan Agosta

2/13/2006 5:06:46 PM

TURIN, Italy (CP-AP) - A member of the U.S. women's hockey team says Canada's lopsided wins to date at the Turin Olympics are not helping the sport.

And defenceman Angela Ruggiero questions why the Canadian women put 16 goals past Italy and 12 past Russia.

''I'm upset that Canada has been running up the score, especially against the host nation,'' Ruggiero was quoted Monday on, Sports illustrated's website. ''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.''

While Canada has outscored its opponents 28-0, the Americans have been only slightly less prolific, winning 6-0 and 5-0 against better opponents - Switzerland and Germany.

Canada and the United States have dominated international play since it began in 1990, winning every championship and gold medal awarded.


Canadian star Hayley Wickenheiser would like to see a mercy rule in international play.

''The IIHF might want to look at a 10-goal differential,'' she said. ''It's been pretty disappointing. I was . . . surprised it was like that. I thought it was going to be closer. That's not great hockey.''

On Sunday, Canadian coach Melody Davidson said she did not like such lopsided scores.

But tiebreakers are decided first by the deadlocked teams' record against each other and then by goal differential. Davidson said the Canadians can't afford to leave anything to chance or risk losing the right of last line change as the home team in a playoff game if goal differential was factored in.

She did suggest an alternative to goal differential or even changing the formula for a tiebreaker should be considered in the women's game in order to help avoid blowouts.

''It's just growing pains we have to go through as a sport to get better and for gap to close in the playing field,'' she told reporters. ''That's the price we have to pay as a new sport.''

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