CANADA FALLS TO U.S.; TAKES HOME WORLDS SILVER
MALMÖ, Sweden – It was the match-up everybody saw coming, but the game no one could’ve expected.
In the highest-scoring gold medal game in IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship history, Canada’s National Women’s Team fell to the United States 7-5 on Saturday. Canada spotted its rival a three-goal lead before the game was half over, only to tie things up with a trio of goals 2:03 apart in the second.
The U.S. retook the lead for good with less than eight to play in the third, then added an insurance marker 1:36 later.
Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) scored twice for Canada, Brigette Lacquette (Mallard, Man./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA) had a goal and two assists, and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) each had a goal and a helper.
Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) started in net, but was replaced by Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Boston, CWHL) after allowing four goals on 20 shots in the first period. Lacasse stopped 13 of 16 over the final 40 minutes.
A week after surrendering three power play goals to the Americans in a 4-2 loss, Canada’s special teams once again quickly became the story. Already leading 1-0 on an Annie Pankowski goal, the Americans struck twice in the first on the man advantage – first Hilary Knight from the face-off circle; minutes later Megan Keller hacked in a rebound from the top of the crease.
Johnston got Canada on the board when she spun and fired a backhand past a surprised Jessie Vetter.
After Anne Scheleper restored the three-goal lead for the Americans, Poulin went low stick side to leave Canada trailing 4-2 after the first.
No sooner had the Canadian penalty kill given itself a boost early in the second, Haley Skarupa was left alone in front of the net to put the Americans up 5-2 only 34 seconds after being turned aside on the man advantage.
Lacquette’s point shot through a double screen of Poulin and Ouellette at the halfway point of the game seemed to wake Canada up. Only 1:38 later Poulin picked off Vetter’s pass behind the net and fed Johnston out front for her second of the game.
Alex Rigsby replaced Vetter but fared no better. Ouellette deflected Lacquette’s point shot just 25 seconds after Rigsby entered the game.
A back-and-forth third turned for the Americans when Brianna Decker finished off a two-on-one with Knight. A power play goal from Kendall Coyne shortly after provided the U.S. a cushion and capped the scoring.