Team USA all but guaranteed their place in the 2017 Four Nations Cup Gold Medal Game, dispatching Team Canada in a tight 4-2 victory to all but ensure a 3-0 finish in round robin play, not to mention also recapturing the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
In a first period littered with penalties, it was no surprise that the scoring started on special teams, with Team USA newcomer Cayla Barnes floating an inconspicuous shot from the blueline through a crowd and past Canadian goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens for the 1-0 lead. Megan Bozek would double that lead 2:47 later, with a similar screened shot from the point, this time off an Annie Pankowski rebound, fooling Desbiens and the Canadian defensive corps. Rebecca Johnston would tally the only goal of the second, also on the power play, as she remained largely untouched going from coast-to-coast, weaving through inattentive American defenders and notching a goal past Maddie Rooney.
Kendall Coyne would regain the two-goal lead early in the third, notching a bazaar power play goal after a failed 2-on-1 attempt with Brianna Decker, simply throwing a loose puck in front for the follow-up attempt, but instead banking off a number of Canadian defenders and into a wide open net for the tally. Meghan Agosta would be sprung by a brutal Barnes giveaway on a Team USA powerplay to rip a shorthanded tally past Rooney to close the gap at 3-2, but on the very same penalty, just 36 seconds later, Alex Carpenter would regain the two-goal lead for good, wiring a rebound off a failed Megan Bozek attempt past Desbiens, perhaps distracted by the Bozek shot which felled her teammate, Gigi Marvin, who was credited with the primary assist for sacrificing her body for the goal.
With the victory, the Americans capture their 31st International Hockey Lineal Championship, and first title since the start of their 2017-18 season last month. This marks the 137th all-time meeting between Canada and the U.S. over the IHLC, with the Americans improving their record over Canada in 2017 to to 4-1, their first meeting since dropping the IHLC to Canada in Boston last month. The Americans will now face Sweden in their final round robin game, with a trip to the Gold Medal Game and the IHLC up for grabs.
00:44 – PEN – team, too many players
04:48 – PEN – team, too many players
05:14 – PEN – Hart, tripping
08:08 – PEN – Duggan, cross checking
10:40 – PEN – A. Potomak, slashing
14:14 – PEN – Saulnier, charging
15:03 – PP GOAL – Barnes (Coyne, Decker)
15:27 – PEN – Brandt, interference
17:50 – GOAL – Bozek (Pankowski)
19:39 – PEN – Knight, tripping
21:34 – PEN – Bellamy, slashing
23:07 – PP GOAL – Johnston
24:19 – PEN – Barnes, body checking
24:44 – PEN – Poulin, hooking
29:42 – PEN – Bellamy, tripping
36:02 – PEN – Keller, tripping
39:22 – PEN – Turnbull, holding
40:50 – PP GOAL – Coyne (Decker)
41:41 – PEN – Hart, holding
42:19 – PEN – Keller, hooking
47:23 – PEN – Pankowski, hooking
54:49 – PEN – Larocque, holding
55:31 – SH GOAL – Agosta (Poulin)
56:07 – PP GOAL – Carpenter (Marvin, Bozek)
W: Rooney (20-22)
L: Desbiens (26-30)
SHOTS ON GOAL
15+9+6 = 30
5+15+2 = 22
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Maddie Rooney. Defence: Cayla Barnes, Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Emily Pfalzer, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Gigi Marvin, Annie Pankowski, Kelly Pannek, Amanda Pelkey.
Goaltenders: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Geneviève Lacasse. Defence: Erin Ambrose, Laura Fortino, Micah Hart, Halli Krzyzaniak, Jocelyne Larocque, Lauriane Rougeau. Forwards: Meghan Agosta (A), Emily Clark, Haley Irwin (A), Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse, Amy Potomak, Sarah Potomak, Marie-Philip Poulin (C), Jillian Saulnier, Natalie Spooner, Blayre Turnbull.