What a difference a week makes.
One week removed from its worst defeat in history, Canada reversed its fortunes in the Gold Medal Game of the 2012 World Championships, avenging a 9-2 pounding at the hands of Team USA at the tournament’s open with a stunning 5-4 overtime comeback victory, to capture Gold on enemy ice and win the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Canada was sure to set the tone early, opening the scoring just under eight minutes into the game, short handed, when Hayley Wickenheiser sprung on a breakaway, and wristed a shot that just trickled past U.S. keeper Molly Schaus and in for the 1-0 lead. The U.S. would equalize five minutes later, with a Kendall Coyne rebound through a crowded net flying past Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados to put things at 1-1 after twenty minutes, certainly a more desirable finish for Canada than the last meeting between these two.
Canada then jumped ahead to a 3-1 lead with two huge goals in a span of 1:29, first a Jayna Hefford power play chip in, then a Caroline Ouellette rebound that beat a sprawling Schaus to go ahead by two just 5:36 into the second. But the U.S. would begin to mount their comeback, striking on two power play goals from their defence corps: first, a Brianna Decker screened shot, then a Gigi Marvin point shot deflected by Canadian defenceman Lauriane Rougeau and past Szahados, tying the game at 3-3 in just 1:33.
Another power play maker from Marvin just 2:57 into the third, a point shot that hit the post, hit Szabados in the pads and slid past the goal line, put the U.S. ahead 4-2. But unlike their opening game, Canada refused to die, capitalizing on a late Jocelyne Lamoureux penalty to pick up a Meghan Agosta power play goal, knocking a loose puck through a crowd over Schaus with just 2:38 remaining. And just 1:50 into overtime, an errant pass intended for Josephine Pucci went way off course, springing Canada on a 3-on-2, where Jayna Hefford fed a streaking Ouellette for a wire from the top of the circle, beating Schaus for the unlikely come-from-behind overtime win.
With the win, Canada captures its record 27th International Hockey Lineal Championship, their first title since a March pre-tournament exhibition game where they took the title from the U.S. in a 1-0 win. Canada entered the tournament with the IHLC, before losing in their opening game in a 9-2 drubbing by Team USA, the largest ever U.S. victory against Canada. Team USA successfully defended the IHLC against Russia, Finland and Switzerland en route to the Gold Medal Game, the 107th meeting between Team Canada and Team USA with the IHLC on the line – for more, check out the IHLC @ IIHF World Championships page. The win ensures that Canada will carry the IHLC into the Four Nations Cup in Finland, opening the tournament against the hosts on November 6.
00:34 – PEN – Marvin, holding
04:22 – PEN – Wakefield, cross checking
07:37 – PEN – Spooner, hooking
07:52 – SH GOAL – Wickenheiser
12:54 – GOAL – Coyne (Kessel, Decker)
13:15 – PEN – Apps, slashing
14:59 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, roughing
14:59 – PEN – Poulin, roughing
19:40 – PEN – Poulin, tripping
23:29 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, hooking
24:07 – PP GOAL – Hefford (Agosta, Wickenheiser)
25:36 – GOAL – Ouellette
31:41 – PEN – Wakefield, roughing
31:41 – PEN – Bellamy, roughing
32:42 – PEN – Stack, hooking
34:00 – PEN – Hefford, holding
36:08 – PEN – Hefford, roughing
36:43 – PP GOAL – Decker (Bozek, Schleper)
37:08 – PEN – Apps, body checking
38:16 – PP GOAL – Marvin
42:25 – PEN – Larocque, tripping
42:57 – PP GOAL – Marvin
49:31 – PEN – Rougeau, body checking
51:05 – PEN – Decker, slashing
56:38 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, holding
57:22 – PP GOAL – Agosta (Hefford, Ouellette)
61:50 – GOAL – Ouellette (Agosta)
W: Szabados (40-44)
L: Schaus (34-39)
SHOTS ON GOAL
13+14+9+3 = 39
15+17+12+0 = 44
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Laura Fortino, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau, Catherine Ward. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Jayna Hefford (A), Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette (A), Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser (C).
Goaltenders: Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Gigi Marvin, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Julie Chu (C), Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Jillian Dempsey, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Erika Lawler, Jenny Schmidgall (A), Kelli Stack.