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Laila Edwards hat trick propels U.S. women's hockey team into world championship final

Laila Edwards became the third-youngest American woman to record a world championship hat trick as the Americans reached the gold-medal game for the 23rd time in 23 all-time editions.

Edwards led the U.S. to a 5-0 win over Finland in Saturday's semifinals in Utica, New York. Next: longtime rival Canada or Czechia in Sunday's final.

Only Hilary Knight and Cammi Granato, the two most prolific scorers in national team history, scored three goals in one worlds game at a younger age among Americans.

Back in November, the Wisconsin sophomore Edwards became the first Black woman to play for the senior national team.

At this tournament, Edwards is tied with fellow American Alex Carpenter for the most goals of any player.

Also Saturday, Aerin Frankel recorded her fourth shutout of the tournament, the most by any goalie at one worlds. Hannah Bilka and Savannah Harmon also scored.

By reaching the final, Knight is guaranteed to win a 14th career world medal, breaking the record she shared with Hall of Fame Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser.

Knight, 34, is already the solo record holder for world championship gold medals (nine), goals (64) and points (110).

At this tournament, she broke Granato's record as the oldest American woman to play at a worlds.

In group play in Utica, the U.S. beat Canada 1-0 on a Kirsten Simms goal in overtime.

The U.S. and Canada met in the final in 21 of the previous 22 worlds, which debuted in 1990. In the lone outlier, Finland beat Canada in the semifinals in 2019.

HOCKEY: FEB 11 Women's Rivalry Series - USA vs Canada
HOCKEY: FEB 11 Women's Rivalry Series - USA vs Canada

At her 14th worlds, Hilary Knight has more records to break and more to give to her team

Hilary Knight captained the U.S. to a world title last year with an unprecedented gold-medal-game feat.