Canada saved its best for last at the women’s world hockey championship.
The Canadian women played their most complete game of the tournament to take the gold medal with a 5-1 win over the U.S. in Tuesday’s final, although the victory wasn’t without controversy on their second goal of the game.
“We’re able to bring our best when it counts,” captain Hayley Wickenheiser said. “I think that makes us great as a team.
“We just played with composure more than we had earlier in the tournament and it’s truly a better picture of what our team is all about.”
Canada, also the winner of Olympic gold last year, reclaimed the world title it lost to the Americans two years ago in a shootout and did it before an appreciative sellout of 15,003 spectators at the MTS Centre.
The Canadian women felt pressure to take back their world title and to win it at home.
“People look at us and think it’s easy,” said Wickenheiser. “It’s not.
“It’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into it for everyone involved. It’s a lot of pressure at times and a burden to carry when you are so successful.
“I think it’s a really good test for us heading into the 2010 Olympics in our home country to deal with these type of crowds and scrutiny and things like that.”
Wickenheiser was named tournament MVP and chosen the top forward by the International Ice Hockey Federation. She led the tournament in scoring with eight goals and six assists in five games.
Defenceman Delaney Collins and goaltender Kim St-Pierre were named to the all-star team.
Wickenheiser, Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford, Danielle Goyette and Sarah Vaillancourt scored for Canada in the final and St-Pierre stopped 20 of 21 shots for the win.
Canada scored four unanswered goals, starting in the first minute of the second period, before U.S. captain Krissy Wendell replied.
Goalie Chanda Gunn made 29 saves in the loss.
“We played OK, but OK doesn’t get it done,” U.S. coach Mark Johnson said.
Hometown favourite Botterill scored a tension-breaking goal in the first minute of the second for Canada.
The second goal from Hefford at 11:33, which was the eventual winning goal, was controversial as it required British referee British referee Joy Tottman to validate it via video review.
Hefford’s backhand shot on a Vicky Sunohara centring pass from behind the net disappeared under Gunn. The Canadian bench endured a tense minute until Tottman signalled the goal stood.
“It’s frustrating,” Wendell said. “In the NHL, it has to be conclusive.
“The puck has to go over the line. On the replay, we didn’t know where the puck was. When Chanda got up, the puck was underneath her and not over the goal-line. (It) kind of took the wind out of our sales with a questionable call.”
Gunn said she wasn’t sure whether the puck got by her.
“It didn’t cross the line as far as I could see, but you know, I don’t see everything,” she said. “That’s the occupational hazard of being a goaltender.”
Canada and the U.S. have met in the final of all 10 women’s world championships. Canada took the first eight titles before the Americans captured their first in 2005.
Canada had beaten the U.S. 5-4 in a shootout Saturday and twice came from behind and tied the game before prevailing in extra shots.
So one of the most storied rivalries in sport continued Tuesday.
The momentum nearly swung in the Americans’ favour when forward Natalie Darwitz hit the post behind St-Pierre in the final 20 seconds of the first.
The Canadians said there wasn’t any panic in the dressing room heading into the second period.
“There was the willingness to do whatever it takes,” head coach Melody Davidson said. “There was no negative body language on the bench.”
The Americans have a quick team that’s creative on the fly. The Canadian defence cut off the lanes to their own net and limited the number of shots the U.S. got on St-Pierre.
The U.S. forecheck gave Canada some trouble working the puck out of its zone, but the Canadian blue-line didn’t make any fatal mistakes.
01:06 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Botterill, kneeing
03:31 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Marvin, hooking
04:08 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Agosta, cross checking
07:47 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Resor, interference
20:58 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Botterill (Ouellette, MacLeod)
25:53 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Sunohara, tripping
26:23 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Darwitz, interference
31:33 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Hefford (Sunohara)
33:04 – 🇺🇸 PEN – King, interference
36:27 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Wickenheiser (Collins, Sostorics)
37:46 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Hefford, slashing
40:14 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Apps, hooking
47:06 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Wendell, cross checking
49:22 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Goyette (Vaillancourt, Ouellette)
50:08 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Wendell (Lawler, Darwitz)
51:36 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Knight, hooking
53:31 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Wendell, high sticking
55:07 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Vaillancourt, interference
57:06 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Vaillancourt
W: 🇨🇦 St-Pierre (21-22)
L: 🇺🇸 Gunn (29-34)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇨🇦 10+14+10 = 34
🇺🇸 8+6+8 = 22
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Kim St-Pierre. Defence: Tessa Bonhomme, Delaney Collins, Gillian Ferrari, Carla MacLeod, Cheryl Pounder, Colleen Sostorics. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Kelly Bechard, Jennifer Botterill, Danielle Goyette, Jayna Hefford, Gina Kingsbury, Caroline Ouellette, Vicky Sunohara, Sarah Vaillancourt, Katie Weatherston, Hayley Wickenheiser.
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Chanda Gunn, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Meghan Halcisak, Helen Resor, Angela Ruggiero, Kerry Weiland. Forwards: Julie Chu, Natalie Darwitz, Meghan Duggan, Tiffany Hagge, Kristin King, Hilary Knight, Erika Lawler, Gigi Marvin, Sarah Parsons, Jenny Schmidgall, Krissy Wendell, Jinelle Zaugg.
|🇨🇦 CANADA (C)||vs.||UNITED STATES 🇺🇸|
(since 20 Feb 2006)
|Last Title||17 Feb 2006|
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
🇨🇦 CAN 2-1 USA 🇺🇸 – 21 Apr 1987 – WWT – North York 🇨🇦
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
🇨🇦 CAN 5-4 USA 🇺🇸 (SO) – 07 Apr 2007 – WWC – Winnipeg 🇨🇦
|Last IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 5-0 FIN 🇫🇮 – 09 Apr 2007 – WWC – Winnipeg 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 8-0 SWE 🇸🇪 – 06 Nov 2007 – EX – Mora 🇸🇪