An early third period goal from Amanda Kessel was enough to propel the United States to exact revenge on Canada, winning the Women’s World Championship on enemy ice a year after Canada won in the U.S. by defeating Team Canada 3-2 in Ottawa, to win their fifth Gold Medal and capture the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Both sides came out firing, looking to set the tone early on, but both Jessie Vetter and Shannon Szabados came up multiple times for the U.S. and Canada, respectively. But the deadlock was finally broken by Courtney Birchard just under ten minutes in, slapping a bouncing puck from the point that fooled Vetter and went through her pads to make it 1-0 Canada after one. But the U.S. would quickly equalize, as Brianna Decker deked out Szabados on a 2-on-1 just under three minutes into the second period to make things 1-1. Team USA continued to pour it on, capitalizing on a 5-on-3, with Rebecca Johnston and Hayley Wickenheiser in the box, for Megan Bozek to blast a point shot past Szabados to put the U.S. ahead 2-1.
But Canada struck back on a power play of their own, with a Caroline Ouellette snap shot ripping past Vetter on a screen to tie the game at 2-2 with 2:50 left in the second, a period where Canada was held to just two shots. But the U.S. continued the offensive onslaught in the third, with Amanda Kessel showing flashes of her superstar brother Phil by deking past all-star Wickenheiser, setting up a 2-on-1 where she rifled a wrister past Szabados for the 3-2 lead. Canada would only muster six shots on Vetter in the third, but all the offense they put forward was not enough to equalize, and the U.S. survived the final minutes to hold on for the win and the Gold.
With the victory, Team USA ends the Canadian International Hockey Lineal Championship reign at four games, winning their 26th IHLC, and their first since the Four Nations Cup final in November. In the 111th meeting between the U.S. and Canada over the IHLC, the U.S. wins their fifth World Championships, and their first since 2011 – for more, check out the IHLC @ IIHF World Championships page. With the victory, the United States will carry the IHLC into a six game pre-Olympic exhibition series against Canada that starts October 12 in Burlington, Vermont.
09:50 – GOAL – Birchard (Ouellette, Poulin)
14:15 – PEN – Larocque, interference
15:30 – PEN – Duggan, cross checking
17:01 – PEN – Bozek, slashing
22:43 – GOAL – Decker (Coyne)
24:55 – PEN – Bonhomme, hooking
29:52 – PEN – Larocque, high sticking
33:03 – PEN – Johnston, body checking
33:56 – PEN – Wickenheiser, elbowing
34:26 – PP2 GOAL – Bozek (Schleper, Coyne)
37:43 – PEN – Decker, body checking
37:50 – PP GOAL – Ouellette (Ward, Poulin)
43:09 – GOAL – Kessel (Marvin, Vetter)
51:48 – PEN – Larocque, hooking
W: Vetter (14-16)
L: Szabados (27-30)
SHOTS ON GOAL
8+2+6 = 16
Goaltenders: Alex Rigsby, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Gigi Marvin, Michelle Picard, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Alex Carpenter, Julie Chu (C), Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (A), Sarah Erickson, Lyndsey Fry, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Kelley Steadman.
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, Bailey Bram, Jayna Hefford (A), Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette (A), Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Sarah Vaillancourt, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser (C).