Kelli Stack had a goal and two assists as the United States edged Canada 3-2 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The win was the Americans’ fourth straight win in the six-game exhibition series against the Canadians.
It was the final match-up between the two women’s hockey powers ahead of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Canada’s National Women’s Team has lost three consecutive games to the U.S. under the guidance of newly appointed head coach Kevin Dineen. He took over on Dec. 17 after former head coach Dan Church resigned.
Stack, Hilary Knight and Megan Bozek all scored as the Americans opened up a 3-0 lead in the second period much to the disappointment of the announced crowd of 17, 227 at the home arena for the Maple Leafs.
Natalie Spooner got Canada on the board with 34 seconds left in the middle period.
Canada’s Brianne Jenner cut the U.S. lead to 3-2 with a short-handed goal at 1:57 of the third.
Despite out-shooting the Americans 9-5 in the third period, Canada could not find the equalizer.
Canadian starter Geneviève Lacasse made 27 saves in the loss, while Molly Schaus stopped 25 shots for the U.S.
The U.S. opened the scoring 2:32 into the second, as Knight re-directed a Stack feed between the pads of Lacasse.
With Jenner off for hooking, Alex Carpenter found Stack all alone in the slot; Stack beat Lacasse giving the Americans a 2-0 lead.
The U.S. appeared to take a 3-0 lead at 16:05 of the second period, when Knight knocked a loose puck out of mid-air past Lacasse; however, video review showed Knight knocked the puck down with a high stick and the goal was disallowed.
Less than a minute later, the U.S. made it 3-0.
With Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser off for holding, Megan Bozek’s point shot beat a screened Lacasse.
Canada got on the board at 19:26 as Spooner beat Schaus on a partial break.
Jenner got Canada to within one, putting home her own rebound after initially hitting the post.
Canadian defenceman Tara Watchorn who didn’t play in Saturday’s loss because of an unspecified injury, returned to action and was paired with Catherine Ward.
IHLC: With the victory, Team USA caps off four consecutive victories over Team Canada in eighteen days, ending the exhibition series with a record of 5-1, going 4-0 in the month of December. This win, the 118th meeting between these rivals over the IHLC, ensures that the Americans will enter the Sochi Olympics as International Hockey Lineal Champions, their 27th title that they won from Canada in the first December exhibition game on the 12th in Calgary. The U.S. opens their Olympic schedule against Finland on February 8.
05:33 – PEN – Ward, tripping
12:25 – PEN – Duggan, roughing
13:38 – PEN – Knight, tripping
16:22 – PEN – Poulin, body checking
20:23 – PEN – Duggan, charging
22:32 – GOAL – Knight (Stack, Duggan)
23:11 – PEN – Jenner, hooking
23:23 – PP GOAL – Stack (Carpenter)
23:47 – PEN – Watchorn, body checking
28:01 – PEN – Larocque, cross checking
31:11 – PEN – Schleper, body checking
34:40 – PEN – Agosta, tripping
36:50 – PEN – Wickenheiser, holding
36:54 – PP GOAL – Bozek (Stack)
39:26 – GOAL – Spooner (Irwin)
41:13 – PEN – Agosta, hooking
41:57 – SH GOAL – Jenner (Ouellette)
47:52 – PEN – Bozek, hooking
55:35 – PEN – team, too many players
W: Schaus (25-27)
L: Lacasse (27-30)
SHOTS ON GOAL
9+16+10 = 30
10+8+9 = 27
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).