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Last one before it counts: Canada vs USA game six

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As Olympic selections loom, Canada and USA meet up for two final games of 2017.

Hockey: International Women's Hockey -Canada at USA
USA defenseman Emily Pfalzer (8) controls the puck against Canada defenseman Micah Zandee-Hart (28) 
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Western hockey this weekend as Team Canada and Team USA finish off their pre-Olympic series.

Canada took the penultimate game on Friday by a score of 3-1, the first win against USA for netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens. While the third goal was scored by the somewhat predictable combination of Poulin, Agosta and Daoust, the more important scoring was done with those with more on the line. Haley Irwin got her first goal of the series and the scoring line on the game winner probably sounds familiar to Badgers fans: Sarah Nurse from Emily Clark as the NCAA linemates combined for a somewhat messy goal.

Tonight’s the last chance for bubble players to make their mark before the Olympic team is set.

How to watch

Game Six
Start time: 7:00 pm EST
Broadcast: TSN2, NHL Network, RDS2
Stream: TSN GO

Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton

The series so far

Canada has won the last two games, meaning they’re either up 3-1 or tied 3-3 if you’re counting the Four Nations tournament (which, as previously mentioned, I’m not).

Meghan Agosta remains atop Canada’s leader board with two goals and two assists in the series. She’s followed closely by the CWHL’s leading scorer for the 2016-17 season, Marie-Philip Poulin (2 goals and 1 assist) and Team Canada’s only East Coast representative, Jillian Saulnier (2 goals and 1 assist).

The top scorers for the Americans haven’t changed much either. Brianna Decker (2 goals and 1 assist), and Alex Carpenter are now tied in points (1 goal and 2 assists). Megan Bozek (2 assists) and Emily Pfalzer (1 goal, 1 assist) are the only other multi-point players for Team USA.

Roster moves

Only one change in the rosters since these teams met in Winnipeg: Annie Pankowski, the 23 year old forward from California who won gold with USA at the 2015 and 2016 World Championships, has been released from the team. She played in all four games of the series and had one goal in the first game. Pankowski put off her senior year with the University of Wisconsin Badgers to try for an Olympic berth.

Players to note

Canadian forward Mélodie Daoust has been out with a lower body injury since the Four Nations tournament. Her only game in the series was the series opener in Québec City.

Mélodie Daoust(15) and Marie-Philip Poulin(29) collide in a game against Sweden at Four Nations. (s/t Kirsten Whelan)

There are six skaters who have only played in two games (Lacquette, Irwin, Krzyzaniak, Stacey, Zandee-Hart and Sarah Potomak). Not all of them are necessarily in danger—Irwin, for example, was dealing with an injury—but it will be interesting to see who is in the lineup tonight.

Newcomers Hayley Skarupa and Sidney Morin are still not officially listed on the Team USA roster. Skarupa has only played in one game since joining the team just prior to the December 5 game in Minnesota, Morin has played in both.

The other American newcomer, Cayla Barnes, is listed on the official roster and has played in every game since she joined the team for the Four Nations tournament. Couple this with her use on the power play and it very much looks like Barnes is here to stay.

Kelly Pannek and Gigi Marvin are the only other members of Team USA to have sat out a game (although the Lamoureux twins were noticeably absent in the Four Nations series). Marvin has been used as both a forward and a defender on a regular basis and this flexibility suggests it’s unlikely she’ll be cut.

Schedule

Date Time Location
Date Time Location
Sunday, October 22 2:00PM EDT Centre Videotron, Québec City, QC
Wednesday October 25 7:30 PM EDT Agganis Arena, Boston, MA
Sunday, December 3 4:00 PM EST Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Tuesday, December 5 8:00 PM EST Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB
Friday, December 15 10:00 PM EST SAP Center San Jose, CA
Sunday, December 17 7:00 PM EST Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB

Team USA Roster

Defense

2 Lee Stecklein University of Minnesota (WCHA)

3 Cayla Barnes Boston College (HEA)

5 Megan Keller Boston College (HEA)

6 Kali Flanagan Boston College (HEA)

7 Monique Lamoureux-Morando Minnesota Whitecaps

8 Emily Pfalzer Buffalo Beauts (NWHL)

9 Megan Bozek Buffalo Beauts (NWHL)

19 Gigi Marvin Boston Pride (NWHL)

22 Kacey Bellamy Boston Pride (NWHL)

23 Sidney Morin MODO Hockey (SDHL)

Forwards

10 Meghan Duggan Boston Pride (NWHL)

11 Haley Skarupa Boston Pride (NWHL)

12 Kelly Pannek University of Minnesota (WCHA)

14 Brianna Decker Boston Pride (NWHL)

17 Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson Minnesota Whitecaps

20 Hannah Brandt Minnesota Whitecaps

21 Hilary Knight Boston Pride (NWHL)

24 Dani Cameranesi University of Minnesota (WCHA)

25 Alex Carpenter Boston Pride (NWHL)

26 Kendall Coyne Minnesota Whitecaps

28 Amanda Kessel New York Riveters (NWHL)

37 Amanda Pelkey Boston Pride (NWHL)

Goaltenders

29 Nicole Hensley Lindenwood University (CHA)

33 Alex Rigsby Minnesota Whitecaps

35 Maddie Rooney University of Minnesota Duluth (WCHA)

Team Canada Roster

Defense

3 Jocelyne Larocque Markham Thunder (CWHL)

4 Brigette Lacquette Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

5 Lauriane Rougeau Montreal Canadiennes (CWHL)

8 Laura Fortino Markham Thunder (CWHL)

12 Meaghan Mikkelson Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

14 Renata Fast Toronto Furies (CWHL)

18 Halli Krzyzaniak University of North Dakota (WCHA)

28 Micah Zandee-Hart Cornell University (ECAC)

Forwards

2 Meghan Agosta Hockey Canada

6 Rebecca Johnston Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

7 Laura Stacey Markham Thunder (CWHL)

9 Jennifer Wakefield Linköping HC (SDHL)

11 Jillian Saulnier Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

15 Mélodie Daoust Montreal Canadiennes (CWHL)

17 Bailey Bram Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

19 Brianne Jenner Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

20 Sarah Nurse University of Wisconsin (WCHA)

21 Haley Irwin Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

24 Natalie Spooner Toronto Furies (CWHL)

26 Emily Clark University of Wisconsin (WCHA)

29 Marie-Philip Poulin Montreal Canadiennes (CWHL)

40 Blayre Turnbull Calgary Inferno (CWHL)

44 Sarah Potomak University of Minnesota (WCHA)

Goaltenders

1 Shannon Szabados Hockey Canada

31 Geneviève Lacasse Calgary (CWHL)

35 Ann-Renée Desbiens University of Wisconsin (WCHA)

Alternate Goaltenders

Erica Howe Markham Thunder (CWHL)

Emerance Maschmeyer Montreal Canadiennes (CWHL)