Team Canada capitalized on a couple of costly American penalties to defeat their rivals in the preliminary round of the Four Nations Cup, securing first place amongst the competition and retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Canada took an early lead on a Haley Irwin redirect past Jessie Vetter to open the scoring at 1-0, but never one to let a deficit linger, the U.S. quickly countered back with a power play goal from Kelli Stack, smacking in a Brianna Decker rebound past Genevieve Lacasse to even the score. The teams played very evenly matched in the first, with shots 9-8 in favour of the U.S.
Canada pulled ahead in terms of offensive output in the second, and while Vetter was sharp, special teams were the key for Canada regaining the lead, as Mélodie Daoust pulled ahead during a Gigi Marvin penalty to lead 2-1 after forty minutes. But again, the U.S. was relentless in tying the game, using a rapid fire pass play between Jocelyne Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski and Lyndsey Fry to fool Lacasse, with Fry’s marker midway through the third evening things at two.
However, it was special teams again that would spell the end of the U.S. opportunity to take the first lead of the game, as a five-on-three due to consecutive delay of game penalties allowed Natalie Spooner to convert with 3:30 remaining, to pull Canada ahead 3-2. The U.S. could not capitalize on an opportunity to beat Lacasse again, and an empty net goal from Brianne Jenner with 12 seconds to go sealed the Americans’ fate with a 4-2 final.
With the victory, Canada wins its fourth game of their 29th and current International Hockey Lineal Championship reign, including their third win against the United States, who they won the title from on October 12 in an exhibition game. Canada will now advance to the Four Nations Cup Gold Medal Game against Finland, while the U.S. plays Sweden for Bronze. This was the 114th IHLC game between Team Canada and Team USA, who will next meet in an exhibition match on December 12 in Calgary.
05:42 – GOAL – Irwin (Jenner, Johnston)
06:23 – PEN – Bram, hooking
07:39 – PEN – Watchorn, roughing
08:27 – PP GOAL – Stack (Decker)
24:17 – PEN – Larocque, interference
25:38 – PEN – Marvin, elbowing
27:31 – PP GOAL – Daoust (Agosta, Watchorn)
32:24 – PEN – Marvin, interference
49:14 – GOAL – Fry (J. Lamoureux, Pankowski)
54:40 – PEN – Bozek, delay of game
55:58 – PEN – Pucci, delay of game
56:30 – PP2 GOAL – Spooner (Bram)
56:50 – PEN – Watchorn, elbowing
59:48 – EN GOAL – Jenner
W: Lacasse (21-23)
L: Vetter (24-27)
SHOTS ON GOAL
8+13+7 = 28
9+7+7 = 23
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Geneviève Lacasse, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne Larocque, Catherine Ward (A), Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Mélodie Daoust, Jayna Hefford (C), Haley Irwin (A), Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Jenelle Kohanchuk, Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield.
Goaltenders: Brianne McLaughlin, Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Jincy Dunne, Gigi Marvin, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Kate Buesser, Alex Carpenter, Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Lyndsay Fry, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski, Kelli Stack.