Canada opened a six game pre-Olympic exhibition series against their fiercest rivals, Team USA, with a 3-2 victory highlighted by quick offense, solid goaltending, and a rare women’s hockey fight, all part of Canada capturing back the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
While the first period was a largely defensive effort, with only nine shots between both sides, the scoresheet opened up in the second period, when captain Caroline Ouellette wired a power play goal past Brianne McLaughlin to open the scoring. A second tally by Bailey Bram only 81 seconds later suddenly put Canada up 2-0, outshooting Team USA 12-2 in the second. A second power play goal from Tara Watchorn put Canada ahead 3-0 early in the third, but Team Canada had to be quick on their heels not to squander the lead, as the U.S. pounced on some costly Canadian penalties to regain some ground.
First, capitalizing on a 5-on-3, Brianna Decker beat Shannon Szabados to cut the deficit to 3-1, and Gig Marvin followed up with a second only three minutes later to pull within one. Emotion was high as the U.S. tried to tie, as a Jocelyne Lamoureux collision with Szabados in her crease caused a fight to break out between Lamoureux and Courtney Birchard, with Tessa Bonhomme and Kelli Stack joining in the melee as well. When it was all said and done, all four were sent off for roughing, and the U.S. was unable to get the tying goal, capping the win for Canada.
With the victory, Canada captures its 29th International Hockey Lineal Championship, its first since losing the IHLC to the U.S. at the 2013 World Championship finals. The last time these two met in Burlington, Canada won the 2012 World Championships in a 5-4 overtime victory. This was the 112th IHLC meeting between these two teams, who meet next in Boisbriand, Québec on October 20 for the second of six pre-Olympic exhibition games.
15:08 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, tripping
23:09 – PEN – Dunne, body checking
24:16 – PP GOAL – Ouellette (Hefford, Wickenheiser)
25:37 – GOAL – Bram (Kohanchuk, Bendus)
27:59 – PEN – Wakefield, hooking
38:13 – PEN – Wickenheiser, tripping
44:49 – PEN – Knight, body checking
44:54 – PP GOAL – Watchorn (Ward, Wickenheiser)
45:51 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, holding
47:09 – PEN – Chu, tripping
49:57 – PEN – Bendus, tripping
50:05 – PEN – Watchorn, roughing
51:05 – PP2 GOAL – Decker (Carpenter)
54:39 – GOAL – Marvin (J. Lamoureux, M. Lamoureux)
56:37 – PEN – Birchard, roughing
56:37 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, roughing
56:37 – PEN – Bonhomme, roughing
56:37 – PEN – Stack, roughing
W: Szabados (15-17)
L: McLaughlin (26-29)
SHOTS ON GOAL
5+12+12 = 29
4+2+11 = 17
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Laura Fortino, Meaghan Mikkelson, Catherine Ward, Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Jayna Hefford (A), Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Jenelle Kohanchuk, Caroline Ouellette (C), Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser (A).
Goaltenders: Brianne McLaughlin, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Jincy Dunne, Gigi Marvin, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Kate Buesser, Alex Carpenter, Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Lyndsay Fry, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Kelli Stack.