The Germans have made an impressive splash here in Plymouth, but in tonight’s semi-finals they weren’t up to the task of competing with the reigning champions.
The final score of 11-0 was suitable representation of what transpired tonight. Kendall Coyne had two goals and an assist for the U.S., while four teammates had a goal and two assists and Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel each had three assists.
Eleven goals scored, and American goalie Nicole Hensley had to make only eight saves to record the shutout.
And now comes the matchup everyone has been waiting for–another chapter in the Canada-United States rivalry for gold, tomorrow night at 7.30pm.
“Any time we get a chance to wear a U.S. jersey on home ice, everyone gets so excited,” Coyne said of the team’s quest to win gold on home ice for the first time. “Tomorrow, we need to get better at every small aspect. Maybe eliminate one turnover or create one more shot block. Get more pucks to the net. Be better in every area.”
And, as an appetizer, an impressive Finland team will play the Cinderella Germans for bronze tomorrow afternoon.
“We just didn’t play as hard as we need to play against a great team like the U.S., but I’m proud of our team because we never gave up,” noted starting goalie Jennifer Harß. “We’ve already started to prepare for tomorrow. It’s a big game for us.”
If it felt to viewers as if the home side were on a power play for 60 minutes, that’s what it felt like for the Germans. They were hard-pressed to even gain possession of the puck let alone make a series of passses up ice, and the Americans controlled play in the German end with ease, even making line changes as they circled and passed the puck around.
“It’s a great experience playing the number-one ranked team,” Harß added. “They’re a strong, fast, really skilled team. It’s also a hard lesson.”
The outcome was never in doubt. Just 66 seconds from the opening faceoff Coyne burst down the left wing and made a quick pass to Hilary Knight in front. Knight one-timed a shot past Jennifer Harß for the early 1-0 lead.
Knight almost had a second goal on her next shift but she fanned on a close-in shot and the puck stayed on the goal line. No matter. The U.S. even had luck on their side. Kelli Stack prepared for a wrist shot, and as she did she was checked from the side by Bernadette Karpf. The puck deflected off Kempf’s stick and floated into the goal, fooling Harß. 2-0.
The U.S. came out in the second and put the game well out of reach, scoring five goals in a 4:13 span early on and chasing Harß from the goal. It was, to be fair, a mercy pull. Harß had made several outstanding saves and had no chance on any of the goals.
Coyne scored two of the five as the Americans padded their stats in impressive fashion this night.
How bad was it for the Germans? Gigi Marvin coughed the puck up in front of her goal in the final minute of the second, and Kerstin Spielberger had the puck on her stick. She made a great deke on Hensley, who came out to try the Johnny Bower-style pokecheck, but with a wide-open goal Spielberger fanned on the shot and Marvin recovered to reclaim the puck. Shots on goal in the period: 18-1.
“We were down only 2-0 after the first, and I think that was very good for us,” offered German coach Benjamin Hinterstocker. “But then in the second they showed why they’re a way better team than us. It was a tough game.We played Canada in Fussen in January, and now the U.S. here, so it’s great to show our players what they have to do to be the top.”
The Americans added four more goals in the final 20 minutes, much to the delight of the loud, pro-American crowd at USA Hockey Arena.
IHLC: With the victory, the Americans retain their 30th International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won from Canada to open the Worlds, and retained in victories against Russia and Finland. This marks the eleventh attempt by Germany to capture the women’s IHLC, and the fifth meeting ever between the U.S. and Germany, the first since the 2006 Turin Olympics, which yielded a 5-0 result. As with the previous seventeen World Championships, the Americans will now face Canada for Gold, as well as the IHLC, in what will surely be another spectacular finale.
01:06 – GOAL – Knight (Coyne)
08:47 – GOAL – Stack (Skarupa, M. Lamoureux)
11:23 – PEN – Delarbre, slashing
20:16 – PEN – Kamenik, tripping
22:02 – PP GOAL – Coyne (Decker, M. Lamoureux)
22:38 – GOAL – Pfalzer (Kessel, Keller)
23:24 – GOAL – J. Lamoureux (Stack)
24:22 – GOAL – Coyne (Knight, Decker)
26:15 – GOAL – Keller (Kessel)
28:49 – PEN – Rothemund, slashing
41:06 – PEN – Bellamy, interference
44:19 – GOAL – Pelkey (Bellamy, Kessel)
51:02 – PEN – Kratzer, tripping
53:06 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (Decker, Knight)
54:10 – GOAL – Skarupa (Stack)
58:30 – PEN – Rothemund, body checking
59:47 – PP GOAL – Carpenter (Keller)
W: Hensley (8-8)
L: Harß (19-26), Schröder (20-24)
SHOTS ON GOAL
15+19+16 = 50
4+1+3 = 8
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Monique Lamoureux (A), Emily Pfalzer, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Gigi Marvin, Kelly Pannek, Amanda Pelkey, Haley Skarupa, Kelli Stack.
Goaltenders: Jennifer Harß, Ivonne Schröder. Defence: Anne Bartsch, Tabea Botthof, Lana Düsterhöft, Tanja Eisenschmid, Anna-Maria Fiegert, Darla Gleißner (A), Rebecca Graeve, Ronja Jenike, Yvonne Rothemund, Carina Strobel. Forwards: Manuela Anwander, Marie Delarbre, Nicola Eisenschmid, Nina Kamenik, Bernadette Karpf, Laura Kluge, Sophie Kratzer, Andrea Lanzl (A), Kerstin Spielberger, Julia Zorn (C).