Hayley Wickenheiser scored the game-winning goal for Canada in a 3-1 victory over the United States on Thursday at the 2011 4 Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament. The matchup was a historic one, marking the 100th time since 1990 that the two women’s hockey rivals have faced off against each other.
Wickenheiser beat American goalie Jesse Vetter midway through the third period, taking a low wrist shot from the slot, to help Canada record its second straight win at Stora Hallen arena. Caroline Ouellette sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds.
Head coach Dan Church said his team was rewarded for playing with a heightened intensity.
“I think that was the difference in the game,” Church said. “It was just our commitment to winning those physical confrontations.”
After a scoreless 20 minutes, Jayna Hefford got Canada on the board early in the second period. Jocelyne Lamoureux scored a short-handed goal for the Americans to tie it up at 1-1.
Canada opened the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Finland on Wednesday, and wraps up preliminary round play against host Sweden on Saturday.
“It’s great to win Round 1 against the U.S.,” Church said. “I fully expect that we’ll be playing them in the final on Sunday.”
Canadian goaltender Charline Labonté made 34 saves for the win.
“We got off to a good start and we didn’t really give them too much,” Wickenheiser said. “I think it was a nice first game (against the U.S.) for us, with a pretty young group of defencemen and a young team overall.”
Vetter made 24 saves in the meeting between the top two women’s teams in the world. Canada has a 61-38-1 edge.
“It was a disappointing loss, but our kids played hard,” said U.S. head coach Katey Stone. “We learned a lot tonight and we’ll be ready to go on Saturday (against Finland).”
Canada has won 12 gold and three silver medals in 4 Nations Cup and 3 Nations Cup events since the first tournament was played in 1996.
IHLC: With the win, Canada retains their 25th International Hockey Lineal Championship from their main rivals, the United States, in the 103rd meeting between the two, a day removed from Canada winning the IHLC from Finland, This was the first game between these foes since Canada won their last IHLC, in a 4-3 shootout win in August, at an exhibition game in the midst of the Twelve Nations Tournament in Finland. Canada will next face the host nation Sweden in their preliminary round finale, aiming to play in the Gold Medal Game with the IHLC in hand.
03:05 – PEN – Birchard, holding
05:30 – PEN – Scanzano, hooking
09:03 – PEN – Thatcher, hooking
18:50 – PEN – Agosta, body checking
25:40 – GOAL – Hefford (Agosta, Wakefield)
28:31 – PEN – Thatcher, interference
30:09 – PEN – Knight, holding
38:00 – PEN – Marvin, slashing
39:05 – SH GOAL – J. Lamoureux (Engstrom)
43:38 – PEN – Birchard, tripping
49:58 – GOAL – Wickenheiser (Slusar, Spooner)
51:24 – PEN – Duggan, tripping
55:18 – PEN – Wickenheiser, hooking
59:48 – EN GOAL – Ouellette (Wickenheiser, McKeough)
W: Labonté (33-34)
L: Vetter (22-24)
SHOTS ON GOAL
6+10+8 = 24
9+7+18 = 34
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Jocelyne Larocque, Stefanie McKeough, Cassandra Poudrier, Lauriane Rougeau, Bobbi Jo Slusar. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Mélodie Daoust, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette, Jesse Scanzano, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser.
Goaltenders: Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Caitlin Cahow, Lisa Chesson, Molly Engstrom, Gigi Marvin, Josephine Pucci. Forwards: Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Jillian Dempsey, Meghan Duggan, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Jenny Schmidgall, Kelli Stack, Karen Thatcher.
Article Credit: Hockey Canada