2019 20 nwt can usa series new brunswick 1997
22 years ago…
The last time Canada and the U.S. visited New Brunswick, some of the best to ever play the women’s game starred on the road to Nagano
Jason La Rose
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December 15, 2019
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How good were the line-ups the last time Canada’s National Women’s Team faced off against the United States on New Brunswick ice?

There are seven women who have earned induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the two games on Nov. 7-8, 1997 featured six of them – Angela James (2010), Geraldine Heaney (2013), Jayna Hefford (2018) and Hayley Wickenheiser (2019) for the Canadians, and Cammi Granato (2010) and Angela Ruggiero (2015) for the Americans.

The games were part of a 10-game series between the teams in the lead-up to the Olympic debut of women’s hockey at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, and the rivals criss-crossed North America trading victories – each finished with five wins, and never did one team win more than two in a row.

But with the Rivalry Series on the ice this week in Moncton, let’s put the focus on the two games in New Brunswick – both Canadian wins.

NOVEMBER 7, 1997 (BATHURST, N.B.) – CANADA 3, UNITED STATES 2

The Americans had drawn first blood, earning a 5-4 shootout win in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 25 before the series shifted to the East Coast two weeks later.

The U.S. struck first when Sandra Whyte beat Canadian goaltender Lesley Reddon for an unassisted marker just past the five-minute mark, but Laura Schuler, who coached Canada to Olympic silver in 2018, set up Karen Nystrom in the final minute to send the teams to the first intermission even at 1-1.

Tammy Lee Shewchuk counted the lone goal of the second period with the Canadians on the power play, and James added a shorthanded marker six minutes into the third for a little bit of insurance.

Stephanie O’Sullivan got one back for the U.S. with less than five minutes to go, and the Americans peppered Reddon with 12 shots in the final frame, but Canada held on for a one-goal victory.

NOVEMBER 8, 1997 (SAINT JOHN, N.B.) – CANADA 4, UNITED STATES 1

The series moved 346 kilometres south one night later, with Harbour Station playing host.

Canadian captain Stacy Wilson – a New Brunswick native – opened the scoring just over four minutes in, and a pair of Hall of Famers combined for the 2-0 goal when Heaney set up Hefford for a power-play marker six minutes into the second.

Fiona Smith made it a three-goal game before the end of the middle frame, and Vicky Sunohara added another early in the third, putting the Canadians in complete control.

Alana Blahoski scored on a U.S. man advantage to spoil the shutout bid for Manon Rhéaume midway through the final period, but that would be the lone puck to beat the Canadian netminder, who finished with 21 saves in the win.

Three months later the Americans downed Canada 3-1 to win the first-ever Olympic gold medal, with 38 of the 40 players who skated in the final having played at least one game in New Brunswick (all except Cassie Campbell and the seventh member of the Hockey Hall of Fame group, Danielle Goyette).

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

Katie Macleod
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-284-6427
Mobile: 403-612-2893
[email protected]

 

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