Geneviève Lacasse picked up her first career shutout against the United States, turning aside 32 shots as Canada’s National Women’s Team took Game 4 of the pre-Olympic series 2-0 on Tuesday.
After dropping the series opener, Canada has won three straight games. The latest win marks the first time the home team has won a game in the series.
Jillian Saulnier scored the game-winner with 3:10 left in regulation. Jennifer Wakefield created a turnover along the boards; Saulnier picked up the loose puck and scored with a backhand from the low slot.
Laura Fortino iced it with 44 seconds to go, banking the puck off the boards in her own zone into an empty net. Renata Fast picked up the assist.
The game seemed destined for overtime, if not a shootout, as both Lacasse and her American counterpart, Alex Rigsby, stoned shooters all game long. Canada sent 21 shots Rigsby’s way. For Lacasse, it’s her second win of the series. She’s stopped 69 of 70 shots so far.
She was her team’s best penalty killer in the first period, stopping four shots only minutes into the game, the biggest when she denied a left-alone-at-the doorstep Alex Carpenter as the penalty expired.
Twice in the second period she came up with big saves on Kendall Coyne. First she flashed the glove during the penalty kill midway through the period. Minutes later, after Coyne deked around her defender, Lacasse turned her away at the doorstep.
Overall, the Canadian penalty kill continued to shine. After allowing two power play goals in the series opening loss, the team has since killed off 19 straight penalties.
Its own power play continued to struggle, though, unable to finish on five chances. For the series, it’s clicked only once in 15 opportunities.
Before the game, Haley Irwin was presented a golden helmet to commemorate her 100th international appearance for Canada.
The teams now take a 10-day break from each other. They next face off on Dec. 15 in San Jose, Calif.
IHLC: With the win, Canada retained the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 34th and current title, which they won from Team USA in their last meeting, a 2-1 overtime win two nights ago in Minnesota. The win improves Canada to 78-60-1 all-time against their border rivals, and marks the fifth meeting between these teams over the IHLC in Winnipeg, and the first in a decade, the final of the 2007 World Championships marking their last meeting here. Canada and the U.S. will meet in ten days’ time on the third and final leg of their pre-Olympic tour, first in San Jose, followed by a meeting in Edmonton two days later, the winner of that game holding the honour of marching into PyeongChang with the IHLC.
01:38 – PEN – Fast, interference
04:26 – PEN – Pelkey, hooking
20:52 – PEN – team, too many players
25:24 – PEN – Duggan, body checking
28:19 – PEN – Mikkelson, interference
34:16 – PEN – Mikkelson, roughing
34:16 – PEN – Cameranesi, roughing
39:36 – PEN – Bram, roughing
39:55 – PEN – Poulin, roughing
46:46 – PEN – Clark, body checking
56:50 – GOAL – Saulnier
59:16 – EN GOAL – Fortino (Fast)
W: Lacasse (32-32)
L: Rigsby (20-21)
SHOTS ON GOAL
7+8+7 = 22
13+12+7 = 32
Goaltenders: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Geneviève Lacasse. Defence: Renata Fast, Laura Fortino, Halli Krzyzaniak, Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne Larocque (A), Meaghan Mikkelson. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Bailey Bram, Emily Clark, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner (A), Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse, Marie-Philip Poulin (C), Jillian Saulnier, Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey, Jennifer Wakefield.
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Alex Rigsby. Defence: Cayla Barnes, Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Sidney Morin, Emily Pfalzer, Lee Stecklein. Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan (C), Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Annie Pankowski, Amanda Pelkey.