US women thump China 12-1 in hockey opener 

This women's hockey blowout had a bit of restraint.

Jenny Potter scored three goals in the first 22 minutes while becoming the leading scorer in U.S. Olympic history, and the Americans opened the preliminary round of the women's tournament with a 12-1 romp over China on Sunday.

Meghan Duggan scored twice for the Americans, who got the expected result when a seasoned power takes on a developing team. The Americans didn't quite match Canada's 18-0 rout of Slovakia on Saturday, in part because they remained patient for scoring chances.

"I think we did a good job playing our game, but at the same time keeping sportsmanship in mind," U.S. captain Natalie Darwitz said.

China allowed 11 straight goals before Jin Fengling scored on a power play with 2:21 left.

Potter scored four points while notching her first Olympic hat trick, and fellow four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero scored the first goal in the avalanche in front of a crowd including Vice President Joe Biden, Salt Lake City Games executive Mitt Romney and 1980 U.S. hockey captain Mike Eruzione.

Another Miracle on Ice hero had a better seat: Mark Johnson, who scored two goals in that victory over the Soviet Union, returned to the Olympics 30 years later as the U.S. women's coach.

Late in a thoroughly one-sided game, China got a minor miracle of its own. The North American crowd roared when Jin threaded a backhand through traffic past Brianne McLaughlin, triumphantly slapping her stick on the ice.

Although the Chinese team skates better than the Slovaks and is much improved from Turin after four more years of international competition, the Americans still were far too much for the club led by Finnish coach Hannu Saintula. China has lost all 20 of its games against the Americans.

The Americans outshot China 61-7, scoring five goals in the first period and rarely even allowing a potential scoring rush by the Chinese, who got 49 saves from goalie Shi Yao.

Molly Schaus played the first 52 minutes in goal before McLaughlin relieved. Jessie Vetter is expected to be the U.S. goalie in its biggest games.

With a power-play goal early in the second period, Potter passed Katie King for the overall U.S. lead in Olympic scoring. The mother of two from Minnesota has eight goals and 17 assists in Olympic play.

The Americans scored less than three minutes in on a spectacular individual play by Ruggiero, who rushed into the play at mid-ice to scoop up a loose puck, outskated two defenders and fired a low shot underneath Shi. Ruggiero has altered her game in recent years, choosing to join the offensive rush less frequently, but still skates better than all but a handful of women's players.

Forward Erika Lawler was shaken up by a spill into the boards midway through the second period, but stayed on the bench for the third to support her teammates.

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