The United States rode a special teams explosion to a second straight gold medal at the 4 Nations Cup.
Kendall Coyne scored shorthanded, while Hilary Knight and Anne Schleper added power-play goals Saturday, as the U.S. shut out Canada 3-0.
Jessie Vetter made 26 saves for the Americans, while Jocelyne Lamoureux added two assists.
“We lacked a little bit of energy at times but I have to give full credit to the U.S. because they really played hard and were able to chip a lot of pucks down into our zone,” Canada’s National Women’s Team Dan Church said. “They brought a lot of pressure off the forecheck.
When they’re doing things like that, it’s very difficult to generate momentum.”
Charline Labonté made 19 saves in taking the loss for Canada, which defeated the Americans 3-1 in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
“We didn’t do the things we did when we played them earlier in the week,” Church said. “We weren’t as quick to pucks, we didn’t skate all the way and we didn’t get into battles as much as we did the other day.”
The U.S. opened the scoring Saturday with Coyne’s unassisted short-handed goal at 12:46 of the first.
“It was a tough battle and I think as a team we didn’t play to our full potential or follow the game plan and the U.S. caught us off guard,” Canadian forward Meghan Agosta said. “No team should score on the penalty kill and they went down and scored shorthanded and that kind of killed us.
“We just didn’t really play our game.”
Church said Coyne’s goal stung the Canadians, but added that his team should have been able to respond.
“We have to learn from that because we have tons of games still left ahead of us and I don’t think we were expecting to win 1-0,” he said.
“You can’t let one goal impact how you view the rest of the game or how you’re going to perform, so that’s a big lesson for us.”
IHLC: With the win, in the 109th IHLC meeting between these teams, the United States wins the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their first IHLC they have won since the Gold Medal Game of the 2011 Four Nations Cup, which they held until the World Championships Gold Medal Game in April. Canada entered the Cup as IHLC incumbents, successfully defeating Finland, Sweden, and the U.S. in a 3-1 win in preliminary action. The win ensures that the U.S., starting their 25th reign, will carry the IHLC into the upcoming World Championships in Ottawa.
05:29 – PEN – Ward, body checking
08:09 – PEN – Larocque, delay of game
11:35 – PEN – Vetter, delay of game
12:46 – SH GOAL – Coyne
15:19 – PEN – Knight, roughing
19:46 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, roughing
24:04 – PEN – Decker, high sticking
32:57 – PEN – Watchorn, kneeing
34:13 – PP GOAL – Knight (M. Lamoureux, J. Lamoureux)
37:06 – PEN – Dunne, cross checking
39:09 – PEN – Decker, delay of game
46:12 – PEN – Knight, hooking
54:44 – PEN – Wickenheiser, roughing
55:35 – PP GOAL – Schleper (J. Lamoureux)
W: Vetter (26-26)
L: Labonté (19-22)
SHOTS ON GOAL
12+4+6 = 22
9+8+9 = 26
Goaltenders: Alex Rigsby, Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Jincy Dunne, Milica McMillen, Michelle Picard, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Sarah Erickson, Lyndsay Fry, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Paige Savage, Kelli Stack, Karen Thatcher.
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Geneviéve Lacasse, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bobbi Jo Slusar, Catherine Ward, Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser.