Four different players netted goals and Brianna Decker tallied three points as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Finland, 4-0, here tonight in the team’s second game at the 2016 Four Nations Cup.
“We had another strong effort tonight and I’m pleased with the way we played and the outcome,” said Ken Klee, head coach of the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team. “I like the way our team continues to come together and play with a high compete level, especially on back to back nights.”
Team USA controlled the play throughout the opening period, outshooting Finland 13-3, but was unable to beat goaltender Noora Räty. Finland nearly took the lead on a two-on-one rush in the closing minutes of the stanza, but Nicole Hensley made a sprawling glove save to keep the game scoreless entering the first intermission.
The U.S. broke through just 2:15 into the second period when Decker deked around Räty and slid a pass across the crease to Kendall Coyne, who poked the puck into the empty net.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson extended Team USA’s advantage to 2-0 with a slap shot from the point at 9:09 of the frame.
Megan Keller gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead 1:15 into the final period when she collected the rebound from a shot by Decker, and backhanded the puck into a wide open net.
Monique Lamoureux-Morando netted a rebound with 9:14 remaining to make the final 4-0.
Hensley finished with 18 saves to earn Team USA’s second straight shutout to open the tournament.
Team USA (2-0-0-0; W-OTW-OTL-L) closes preliminary-round play in the Four Nations Cup Friday (Nov. 4) against rival Canada in Vierumäki. A victory would clinch a spot for the U.S. in the gold-medal game on Saturday (Nov. 5).
IHLC: With the victory, Team USA retains their 28th and current International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won way back in March 2015 to open the 2015 World Championships. This marks the first meeting between the Americans and Finns for the IHLC since a narrow 2-1 victory at the World Championships in March, shockingly just one of two victories in the current U.S. win streak that was only by a goal (the other being that year’s Gold Medal Game). This now sets up yet another battle between the U.S. and Canada, who have both locked up berths in the Gold Medal Game, meaning the next three games between these two (two at the current Cup, and an exhibition game in December) will all be for the IHLC.
02:45 – PEN – Rahunen, holding
14:24 – PEN – Välimäki, high sticking
22:15 – GOAL – Pankowski (Decker, Coyne)
29:09 – GOAL – Decker (Pelkey, M. Lamoureux)
34:06 – PEN – Coyne, hooking
41:25 – GOAL – Keller (Decker, M. Lamoureux)
50:46 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (Trivigno, Anderson)
52:04 – PEN – Välimäki, tripping
60:00 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, holding
W: Hensley (18-18)
L: Räty (35-39)
SHOTS ON GOAL
13+14+12 = 39
3+9+6 = 18
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Megan Keller, Monique Lamoureux (A), Emily Pfalzer, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Stephanie Anderson, Hannah Brandt, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Jocelyne Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski, Amanda Pelkey, Haley Skarupa, Kelli Stack, Dana Trivigno.
Goaltenders: Anni Keisala, Noora Räty. Defence: Jenni Hiirikoski (C), Sini Karjalainen, Anna Kilponen, Rosa Lindstedt, Isa Rahunen, Ronja Savolainen. Forwards: Sanni Hakala, Venla Hovi, Sari Kärnä, Niina Mäkinen, Petra Nieminen, Riikka Nieminen (A), Tanja Niskanen, Sara Säkkinen, Vilma Tanskanen, Susanna Tapani (A), Minnamari Tuominen, Noora Tulus, Linda Välimäki, Saana Valkama.