On Canadian home ice, at Team Canada’s very own training facility, the Canadian women’s squad, in the same day their head coach stunningly stepped down, dropped a lopsided 5-1 contest to the United States to lose the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
Seeking revenge for consecutive exhibition losses, as well as losses at the Four Nations Cup and World Championship finals at the hands of Team Canada, Team USA quickly capitalized on a number of costly Canadian penalties, with Alex Carpenter striking on a two-woman advantage to open up the scoring. Brianna Decker scored an early second period marker to set the score at 2-0, and the Americans did a nice job of defending against the powerful Canadian squad, holding Canada to ten shots through forty minutes, and goalie Jessie Vetter performing when she needed to.
The U.S. extended the lead to 3-0 on another power play, on a goal from captain Meghan Duggan only four and a half minutes into the third. While Tara Watchorn was able to score Canada’s only goal midway through the third, the momentum was quickly wiped away on a Hilary Knight tally just forty seconds later to put the U.S. up 4-1. An empty netter by Megan Bozek with two seconds remaining sealed Canada’s fate, in a game that Interim Coach and Team Canada legend Danielle Goyette attributed to the Church distraction: “I don’t think we played the game tonight. I think we were watching the game, and it cost us.”
With the win, the United States captures their 27th International Hockey Lineal Championship, after winning the third of six pre-Olympic exhibition games with Team Canada. Canada entered the game as IHLC champions after sweeping the Four Nations Cup a month prior, winning that IHLC title in the first game of the series on October 12, 3-2, and following it up with a second straight win on October 17. This was the 115th meeting of the women’s hockey rivals, who will meet next in the fourth game of the series in Grand Forks, North Dakota on December 20.
04:49 – PEN – Daoust, holding
10:01 – PEN – Watchorn, body checking
10:15 – PEN – Hefford, tripping
11:29 – PP2 GOAL – Carpenter (Marvin, Stack)
15:30 – PEN – Pucci, holding
18:56 – PEN – Knight, tripping
22:42 – GOAL – Decker (Fry, Coyne)
23:01 – PEN – Bendus, hooking
41:05 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, body checking
42:19 – PEN – Ouellette, hooking
43:56 – PEN – Apps, high sticking
44:30 – PP GOAL – Duggan (Pucci, Decker)
49:37 – GOAL – Watchorn (Apps)
50:17 – GOAL – Knight (Stack)
58:58 – PEN – Marvin, cross checking
59:58 – EN GOAL – Bozek
W: Vetter (15-16)
L: Szabados (24-29)
SHOTS ON GOAL
9+12+8 = 29
5+5+6 = 16
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.
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Geneviève Lacasse, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Laura Fortino, Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau, Catherine Ward, Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Bailey Bram, Mélodie Daoust, Jayna Hefford (A), Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Jenelle Kohanchuk, Caroline Ouellette (C), Natalie Spooner, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser (A).