Jennifer Wakefield scored with 26 seconds to play in overtime as Canada’s National Women’s Team defeated the United States 2-1 to close out the teams’ six-game pre-Olympic series.
Natalie Spooner set up the game-winner with a great individual effort, taking the puck from mid-ice, driving along the boards and below the goal line, before throwing the puck out front. A trailing Wakefield buried the puck home in the crease.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored in regulation for Canada. Rebecca Johnston and Laura Fortino earned the assists.
Shannon Szabados picked up her second 2-1 overtime win of the series.
After dropping the opener, Canada ran off five straight wins in the series.
The crowd of 17,468 saw Canada open the scoring late in the first period on Sunday.
Coming in, the Americans had enjoyed eight more power play chances than the Canadians. When it did have the man-advantage, Canada had struggled, converting only once in 18 opportunities.
In the series finale, the Canadian power play broke through for the first time since Game 2. Gigi Marvin and Meghan Duggan took back-to-back penalties, giving Canada a five-on-three advantage for 31 seconds.
Marvin’s penalty had just expired when Fortino fed a short pass to Poulin, whose slap shot from the top of the circle beat Maddie Rooney.
It was Poulin’s team-leading fourth goal of the series. Poulin – 4G 1A – and Meghan Agosta – 2G 3A – finished tied for the team lead in scoring, with five points each.
The United States equalized with the only goal of the second period, with Hilary Knight finishing off a centering pass from Kendall Coyne.
After playing eight times this fall – the teams also met twice at the 2017 4 Nations Cup, with Canada dropping both games – there’s no love lost between the two rivals. But they will now enjoy a two-month break from each other. Canada next faces the United States on Feb. 14, 2018, in the preliminary round of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
IHLC: With the win, Canada retains their 34th International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won at the beginning of the month in Saint Paul and have retained against the U.S. in their fourth straight victory. The win, their first ever tilt in Edmonton, improves Canada’s all-time IHLC record against the U.S. to 81-60-1, and guarantees that Canada will be the incumbent champion heading into the 2018 Olympics this February, where they will open their tournament on February 11 against the Olympic Athletes From Russia squad in Gangneung.
15:11 – PEN – Marvin, hooking
16:42 – PEN – Duggan, holding
17:15 – PP GOAL – Poulin (Johnston, Fortino)
20:53 – PEN – Hart, tripping
34:02 – GOAL – Knight (Coyne, M. Lamoureux)
38:04 – PEN – Poulin, hooking
38:26 – PEN – Kessel, tripping
40:54 – PEN – Cameranesi, hooking
43:34 – PEN – Spooner, tripping
53:28 – PEN – Turnbull, delay of game
64:34 – GOAL – Wakefield (Spooner)
W: Szabados (34-35)
L: Rooney (24-26)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+4+6+5 = 26
8+12+13+2 = 35
Goaltenders: Geneviève Lacasse, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Renata Fast, Laura Fortino, Micah Hart, Halli Krzyzaniak, Brigette Lacquette, Meaghan Mikkelson. Forwards: Meghan Agosta (A), Bailey Bram, Mélodie Daoust, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner (A), Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Potomak, Marie-Philip Poulin (C), Jillian Saulnier, Natalie Spooner, Blayre Turnbull, Jennifer Wakefield.
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Maddie Rooney. Defence: Kacey Bellamy (A), Megan Bozek, Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Monique Lamoureux, 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, Gigi Marvin, Kelly Pannek, Amanda Pelkey.