GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. UNITED STATES (APRIL 16)
Canada’s National Women’s Team is one win away from a third-consecutive gold medal at the IIHF Women’s
World Championship, and its biggest rivals stand in the way – it will the
United States in the final on Sunday night.
Canada rode a hat trick from Sarah Fillier to the gold medal game,
earning a 5-1 semifinal win over Switzerland on Saturday night. Fillier scored twice late in the second period to finally break a
scoreless tie, and added a third in the final five minutes. Jamie Lee
Rattray and Rebecca Johnston had the other goals for the Canadians, who
outshot the Swiss 59-9.
The U.S. booked its place in the final with
a convincing 9-1 semifinal win over Czechia on Saturday afternoon. Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel had two goals and an
assist each, Caroline Harvey had a goal and three helpers, and Tessa
Janecke scored twice for the Americans, who pulled away with three goals in
less than four minutes early in the second period.
The teams met Monday night in their preliminary-round finale and,
just like pretty much every time these teams meet, it was an absolute
thriller. After the Americans scored twice in the last 40 seconds to force overtime
and 15-consecutive shooters missed in the shootout,
Jamie Lee Rattray tucked in the winner in Round 9 to give Canada a 4-3 victory and a perfect prelims. It was the
100th win all-time for Canada over the U.S.
What to Watch
Fillier continues to leave her mark on international hockey. The
22-year-old was named a media all-star at the 2022 Women’s Worlds in
Denmark last summer after posting five goals and 11 points, and is up to
seven goals and 11 points in six games at this tournament after her hat
trick performance against the Swiss. In 20 games across three world
championships, the Brampton-born centre has 28 points (15-13—28). A lot of
numbers to digest, but they all equate to one thing – keep your eyes on
A big key for the Canadians? Stay out of the penalty box. The U.S. has been
deadly with the power play, bringing a tournament-best 52.4% success rate
(11 for 21) into the gold medal game. It struck four times in five chances
against the Czechs in the semifinals, getting goals from four different
players. Overall, eight different Americans have struck with the
player-advantage, including two each from Kessel, Harvey and Hannah Bilka.
A Look Back
These two teams have played in some historic matchups over the years — this
is all-time meeting No. 176 —including the seven-game Rivalry Series this
season and 20 of 21 gold medal games at Women’s Worlds. The most recent
came last summer in Herning, Denmark, when Brianne Jenner scored twice and
Desbiens made a huge save in the dying seconds to a secure
a 2-1 Canadian win and a 12th world title.
All-time record: Canada leads 100-74-1
Canada goals: 484
United States goals: 422