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Via Canadian Press

SOCHI, Russia — International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel says women’s hockey will “never” be taken out of the Winter Olympics.

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Amid blowouts by Canada and the United States that have caused debate about the growth of the sport, Fasel said he would “guarantee” women’s hockey would not be removed because of a lack of competitive balance.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who said the league would be “distressed” if that ever happened, responded simply with, “Good.”

Canada, which beat Switzerland 3-1 in the semifinal, and the U.S., which beat Sweden 6-1, meet in the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game Thursday.