The first quarter belonged to Team USA as they did the job on both offense and defense. Jillian Kraus (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) got things started with two straight goals to open the game. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/SBWPF) scored with 4:13 left in the first to build a 3-0 advantage. Less than a minute later Kami Craig got free inside for a score and 4-0 lead. Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) closed out the period with a goal and a 5-0 advantage.
Team USA's offense kept at it in the second when Neushul scored her second of the day on an outside shot for a 6-0 lead with 4:18 left. The Russian defense settled down after that. They kept the United States scoreless the rest of the half and finally broke through on offense. Russia scored twice with less than three minutes to play and trailed 6-2 at intermission.
In the third the United States returned to their first period form, dominating on both ends of the pool. Steffens scored on a power play goal less than three minutes into the period for a 7-2 lead. Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) hit on a power play goal of her own for an 8-2 lead and then Annika Dries (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) delivered on a player advantage for a 9-2 lead after three periods.
The United States put the match away in the fourth. Craig scored back to back to goals to open the period and built an insurmountable 11-2 advantage. Russia would score two goals with less than five minutes to play but they did not factor in the decision. The United States went 5/8 on power plays while Russia went 1/8 and neither team attempted a penalty shot.
In other Holiday Cup action, Greece moved to 3-0 with a 9-8 win over Canada. The Netherlands earned their first win defeating Australia 7-5.
Scoring - Scoresheet
USA 11 (5, 1, 3, 2) K. Craig 3, J. Kraus 2, K. Neushul 2, M. Steffens 1, K. Gilchrist 1, M. Fischer 1, A. Dries 1
RUS 4 (0, 2, 0, 2)