U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Frank had only a rookie's concept of what being an Olympian meant until getting swamped by Canada.
Two days after blowing a four-goal lead with six minutes left, Frank and the world champion Americans preserved the same cushion in the last period, securing a spot in the semifinals with an 8-4 victory over Russia.
With a place in the medal round riding on the Russia match, Frank knew what to expect this time, and she responded, making saves on 14 of 18 shots. Next up for the United States will be the winner of the Italy-Hungary quarterfinal.
"Canada . . . taught us a little about what those big games mean and how much they mean to everyone," she said. "We underestimated Canada and what intensity they might bring in the fourth quarter. We thought it was just a given. Now we know. Everybody wants it as bad as we want it."
Still, she had "an eerie feeling again" when it was 7-3 going into the last period against Russia.
"Last night, I was having nightmares and dreams, nightmares and dreams, where it's either we're playing for seventh place or we're in the medal round," she said. "Obviously, it turned out great for us."
The Canadians lost, 5-4, to Hungary in their following match to miss the quarterfinals. They'll play Kazakhstan for seventh.