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Nichols' Katy Knoll scores twice in U.S. gold medal win

Katelyn Knoll of Amherst had not registered a point in her first four games for Team USA in the IIHF U18 Women's World Championship.

Then in Saturday's goal medal game, the Nichols School junior scored twice in the 9-3 victory for the U.S. over Sweden before 2,053 in Dmitrov, Russia.

Knoll scored the first goal for the U.S. tying the game at 1-1, in the opening period and the last/ Those were her only shots on net in the game, but she made them count.

In storming to a fourth consecutive gold medal in the U18 championship, the U.S scored six goals in just over six minutes starting late in the first period and extending into the second.

Knoll was one four Americans with two goals in the victory. Britta Curl, Abigail Murphy and Dominique Petrie also had two tallies.

"When we came together with our puck movement and speed everyone saw what we could do," said U.S. captain Taylor Heise. "We just killed everyone else. I don't want to say we were unstoppable, but we were a group that definitely not many people could stop."

It looked like an upset was possible when Selina Aho's shot from the point was deflected by Thea Johansson past U.S. goalie Lindsay Reed.

Knoll's first goal, though, tied it in the seventh minute. Casey O'Brien skated down the right wing and fed a goal mouth pass to Knoll, who beat goaltender Anna Amholt with a low shot inside the right post.

O’Brien then put the U.S. ahead, 2-1, near the midway point of the period by finishing a cross-crease pass from Abbey Murphy after a turnover in the Swedish zone.

Curl buried a pass from Petrie with 35 seconds left in the first period for a 3-1 lead.

In the second period, the United States took control with five goals in the first 5:38 of the frame. Petrie started the barrage with a shot from the slot 33 seconds into the period before Murphy netted a breakaway goal 54 seconds later.

At 3:36, Curl buried a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot on the power play for her second goal of the night. Petrie then redirected a feed from Taylor Heise just 39 seconds later before Murphy converted a second breakaway attempt at the 5:38 mark into the stanza to make it 8-1.

With 4:29 remaining in the middle stanza, Knoll scored her second of the game for a 9-1 lead.

In the third frame, Sweden notched two power-play goals.

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