Mélodie Daoust hopes that the first final of the women’s hockey world championship in her career will bring gold for Canada.
The 29-year-old from Valleyfield, Que., scored twice and led the host nation to a 4-0 semifinal win over Switzerland on Monday in Calgary.
Canada meets defending champions United States on Tuesday for the gold medal.
The Americans are chasing a sixth world title in a row and their ninth in the last 10 world championships.
VIEW | Canada continues to dominate to advance to the women’s hockey world finals:
Canada last won a world title in 2012 in Burlington, Vt.
“We’ve waited far too long for this moment,” Daoust said.
Canada returns to the gold medal game after hosting Finland in the 2019 semi-finals and taking bronze in Espoo.
It was the first time in the tournament’s history that the Canadians failed to reach the final.
‘It was a long way’
Daoust is a two-time Olympian, but won the Maple Leaf for the second time in a world championship after her debut in Espoo.
“It’s been a long road, a lot of ups and downs with injuries and very happy to be here as surrounded by this team,” said Daoust.
She leads the championship in scoring with six goals and six assists in six games ahead of linemate Natalie Spooner with four goals and five assists.
Renata Fast had a goal and an assist, Rebecca Johnston scored and Marie-Philip Poulin had two assists for host Canada, which remained unbeaten in the tournament.
Ann-Renee Desbiens shutout with 10 saves. Andrea Braendli was a workhorse in the Swiss net, stopping 61-of-65 shots.
“She’s a big role [of] why it’s only four-nothing today,” said Swiss captain Lara Stalder.
After the final buzzer, Daoust skated to the glass to wave to her three-year-old son Matheo. Daoust has not held her son since July, when she and her teammates arrived in Calgary.
‘Way too long. It’s been over 40 days since we’ve been here in Calgary,” Daoust said. “It was definitely a challenge, but I’m really happy to be surrounded by all my friends here to pick me up every day.
“I think it really helps if you have a goal in mind. He’s the reason I’m here. And I want to prove [to] him that if you have a dream in mind, you want to go for it to the end. I hope he will be proud of me.”
Canada defeated the US 5-1 to close the preliminary round and set a 4-0 record in Pool A. Canada defeated Germany 7-0 in a quarterfinal.
The Swiss finished at the bottom of Group A at 0-4.
A 3-2 win over Russia in Saturday’s quarter-final was Switzerland’s first win at the tournament and the Swiss jumped to the final for the first time since 2012, when they won bronze.
Switzerland collected the occasional foray into Canada’s zone on Monday, but spent most of their time and energy in their own zone trying to keep the puck out of their own net.
Johnston wired a shot into the far corner for a power play goal at 16:58 of the third period.
Canada made Switzerland pay for Sarah Forster’s glove on Emily Clark’s face after a whistle with Daoust’s power play goal in the second period.
Daoust scored her first with a long re-direct from a Fast shot at 6:52 of the opening period.
Fast had a lot of net to work with from the slot when Brianne Jenner fed her from the wing at 5:14.
Canada defeated Switzerland 5-0 in the preliminary round and has yet to concede a goal from the Swiss in eight world championships.
Finland and Switzerland will play for bronze, and Russia and Japan will meet in the game for fifth place on Tuesday.