The United States women’s team somewhat avenged their Gold Medal defeat in Vancouver on enemy ice, winning a 3-2 shootout over Canada to open the Four Nations Cup in St. John’s to win their first game since that fateful loss to capture the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
The Americans made an impact extremely early, needing just eleven seconds from the opening faceoff to stun Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados and the St. John’s crowd with an opening goal to go ahead 1-0. And depsite a low offensive output in the period (shots were 9-4 in favour of Canada), the score held at 1-0 after one. Canada got their equalizer 2:07 into the second, on a Marie-Philip Poulin power play goal, to tie things at 1-1. Meghan Duggan would put the U.S. back ahead with a tally at 10:18, but again Canada countered on the power play, this time on a goal from Meaghan Mikkelson just two minutes later to put the score at 2-2 after forty minutes.
Both teams were held scoreless by Szabados and U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter in the third and overtime, and thus forced the game to a penalty shootout. Both goalies were sharp, but Hilary Knight managed to sneak a goal past Szabados in the opening round, and with Jennifer Wakefield stopped by Vetter in the third round, the U.S. clinched the opening game win to begin the Cup, aiming to avenge their Gold Medal loss in 2009.
With the win, the United States wins its 20th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, their first since last year’s Four Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland. This game, the 96th meeting between the U.S. and Canada for the IHLC, was the first between the two since Canada’s 2-0 Gold Medal win at the Vancouver Olympics in February. The U.S. will next face Finland at the Four Nations Cup with group points and the IHLC up for grabs.
00:11 – GOAL – Schmidgall (J. Lamoureux)
01:01 – PEN – Cahow, holding
11:50 – PEN – Agosta, tripping
13:54 – PEN – Mikkelson, roughing
20:51 – PEN – Schmidgall, holding
22:07 – PP GOAL – Poulin (Ouellette, Bonhomme)
23:41 – PEN – Slusar, tripping
26:45 – PEN – Bellamy, roughing
30:18 – GOAL – Duggan (Cahow)
30:45 – PEN – Cahow, cross checking
32:36 – PP GOAL – Mikkelson (Larocque, Irwin)
36:23 – PEN – Piper, interference
36:41 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, slashing
41:42 – PEN – Wickenheiser, cross checking
51:08 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, body checking
W: Vetter (32-34)
L: Szabados (23-26)
SHOTS ON GOAL
4+11+10+0+1 = 26
9+12+11+2+0 = 34
Goaltenders: Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Meagan Mangene, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Sarah Erickson, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Erika Lawler, Jenny Schmidgall, Haley Skarupa, Allie Thunstrom, Jinelle Zaugg.
Goaltenders: Christina Kessler, Kim St-Pierre, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Annie Guay, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bobbi Jo Slusar, Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette, Cherie Piper, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser.