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Canada beats USA, tops Group A

See you in the finals, USA, Round One goes to us.

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 4
BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08: Team Canada’s bench reacts as Marie-Philip Poulin #29 of Team Canada celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot in the second period during the Group A Women’s Preliminary Round ice hockey match between Team United States and Team Canada at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 08, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Reigning World Champions Canada defeated the United States 4-2 to conclude the group stage and win Group A in the Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey tournament. Jamie Lee Rattray scored the game winner in the second period as Canada finished strong to come away with the win. Brianne Jenner scored Canada’s first two goals in crucial moments and Marie-Philip Poulin provided a crucial insurance goal for the very first penalty shot goal in Olympic Women’s hockey history.

Ann Renee Desbiens stopped 51 in the win, with counterpart Maddie Rooney allowing four goals on 27 shots by Canada. Canada were heavily outshot in the first period, but they came back hard in the second as the two sides went back and forth. The Americans pushed hard for some goals to bring them back in the game in the third, but Canada were capable in protecting their lead.

Canada will now play the third place team in Group B, with the USA on the other side of the bracket, lining things up for a potential (probably) rematch in the final game next Thursday (Feb 17th).

Canada’s Lineup

Emily Clark - Marie-Philip Poulin (C) - Brianne Jenner
Jamie-Lee Rattray - Sarah Fillier - Natalie Spooner
Sarah Nurse - Blayre Turnbull - Rebecca Johnston
Jill Saulnier - Emma Maltais - Laura Stacey

Jocelyne Larocque - Renata Fast
Claire Thompson - Erin Ambrose
Micah Zander-Hart - Ashton Bell
Ella Shelton

Ann Renee Desbiens
Emerance Maschmeyer

United States’ Lineup

Kendall Coyne-Schofield (C) - Hannah Brandt - Hilary Knight
Alex Carpenter - Abby Roque - Amanda Kessel
Dani Cameranesi - Kelly Pannek - Grace Zumwinkle
Hayley Scamurra - Jesse Compher - Abby Murphy

Lee Stecklein - Cayla Barnes
Megan Keller - Savannah Harmon
Jincy Dunne - Megan Bozek
Caroline Harvey

Maddie Rooney
Alex Cavallini

First Period

Abby Roque came out of the box with some really good chances in the slot, she ended up with four shots on goal in the period alone.

Fourth liner Abby Murphy was all over the ice in the offensive zone this period. She stole a puck that was sent up the ice for a clear after a long shift in the defensive zone for Canada. Murphy caught everyone off guard and was able to get in on Desbiens alone. She dangled to the left, but the Canadian goalie lifted her right pad and scorpion saved the shot. That wasn’t all as Fast saved a goal on the rebound as the puck squeaked through the pads of Desbiens. That was the end of a long shift in Canada’s zone as the Americans were putting on all the pressure.

Canada got a power play, and you just knew they were going to score on it to take the lead after getting dominated 4-13 in shots to start the game. Carolina Harvey took a silly cross-checking penalty and the rest is a one goal lead:

1-0

BRIANNE JENNER!! Canada has been dominating the front of the net all tournament long thanks to [insert half the lineup], and even against the United States they were able to convert on a quick passing play to the blue paint. MPP got the puck down low to Sarah Fillier, who found Jenner in front of the net.

After One

This period had the type of scenario we talk about with the usual subject of this blog: the Toronto Maple Leafs. Winning the shots battle is all well and good, but you can’t exchange old shots with the bank for real goals. Team USA put 16 shots on goal, Canada only five, but none of them went in while Canada scored. You don’t get those shots back if you’re the United States. And while the USA were pretty dominant at being in the offensive zone even after the goal, Canada had the upper hand after one period, and we all know how good Canada can be.

Second Period

Collateral damage to start the second period as one of the referees got a face full of a Canadian stick in the middle of a scrum behind the net. She had to leave the ice with a moderately bloody towel touching her face. The game went on with the three remaining referees.

1-1

Canada just couldn’t get the puck out of the zone, they scrambled, and Dani Cameranesi scored on the rebound. Assist to Kelly Pannek for the initial shot.

1-2

USA score on the power play and Alex Carpenter scores on an odd-woman rush. Abby Roque once again got the play started with a nice move in the neutral zone, but Kessel and Keller with the assists.

2-2

BRIANNE JENNER AGAIN AND WE ARE TIED AGAIN! Canada immediately respond with a lightning fast rush chance started with MPP, onto Sarah Nurse, who fed Jenner with a backhand to help bring Canada back even.

3-2

JAMIE LEE RATTRAY SCORES AGAIN!!! JLR showing Canada once again they were right to bring her back into the national program with a go-ahead goal off a centering pass from Natalie Spooner from behind the net. Rattray was able to get enough of her stick on the puck as it snuck past the right pad of Rooney.

4-2

WELCOME TO THE MARIE-PHILIP POULIN SHOW! She stole a puck from the American defenders and was chased across three zones on a breakaway. She was hooked as she was trying to shoot, earning her a penalty shot. Poulin walked in, got Rooney to bite to the left, and flipped the puck home for her second goal in as many games.

Rattray stole another puck along the left wing and walked in on Rooney alone. She nearly got the puck through on the short side, but the American goalie stopped her. Sarah Fillier then burst in out of nowhere and nearly buried the rebound, but Rooney made a great reaction save.

After Two

After an INCREDIBLE period of ice hockey, Canada came out of the second period with an extended lead. The Canadians got shelled in the first period, only managing five shots on goal throughout the entire frame, this period they showed up and put down 16 shots on goal, matching the USA’s 16 shots on goal.

Third Period

Canada did a great job shutting down the USA’s offense in the first half of the third period, where they didn’t give up any major chances. It was about midway through the period when Roque and her second line got Canada scrambling, but Rattray was able to clear the puck out of the zone. Rebecca Johnston went the other way, and a beat after the play was called offside, Johnston threw the puck on net. She gave quite the innocent face, but she was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty.

The Canadians killed their fourth of five penalties in the game, a lot thanks to Desbiens, but also all the bodies in front and good sticks by the penalty killers.

Desbiens bought them another five minutes as the Americans clocked up to 20 shots through three quarters of the third period. Canada was doing a mostly good job at keeping those chances away and removing rebounds as much as possible. Zone time was pretty much completely in USA’s favour.

Another power play with two seconds left. Larocque blocked a couple shots, Desbiens a couple more, and Canada defended their lead all the way down to the final minute.

The whistle blew with 26 seconds left and Canada still up two goals.

And the clock ticked down as Canada won!