By Frank Pingue
SOCHI, Russia, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The United States punched their ticket to the semi-finals of the women's ice hockey competition with a routine 9-0 triumph over Switzerland at the Sochi Olympics on Monday.
Much as they did in their opening game against Finland, the second-ranked U.S. team dominated throughout and started to run away with it when two goals in an eight-second span of the first period made it 3-0.
By securing one of the top two spots in Group A, the U.S. women earned a bye to the semi-finals while winless Switzerland, who face Germany in their final preliminary round game, will play a quarter-final game against one of the top two teams from Group B.
The U.S. team will now shift their attention to Wednesday's matchup with arch-rival Canada, which is widely expected to be a preview of the gold medal game between the sport's two superpowers.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)