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United States beats Canada in group stage finale at Women’s Worlds

Rematch on Sunday! Probably.

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Women Finals - Gold Medal Game - USA-CAN
Feb 17, 2022; Beijing, China; Team United States forward Kendall Coyne Schofield (26) looks up after crashing into the goal of Team Canada goalkeeper Ann-Renee Desbiens (35) in the second period during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Wukesong Sports Centre.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Five different Americans scored as Canada gave up five unanswered goals in the second half of the game to lose 5-2. Canada now falls to second place in Group A at the IIHF Women’s World Championships as the knockout stage gets set to begin.

Sarah Fillier and Ella Shelton scored in the first period for Canada, but that was all they could muster as Emerance Maschmeyer allowed four goals on 33 shots in the loss. Team USA got goals from Megan Keller, Kelly Pannek, Lacey Eden, Kendall Coyne Schofield, and an empty netter from Hilary Knight as their goalie Nicole Hensley stopped 26 of 28 shots.

This was Canada’s first loss to USA since the 2019 WWC group stage and Canada’s first loss at the WWC since losing to Finland in the 2019 semifinals. Safe to say 2019 was a bad year for Canada, but this year’s team has a chance at redemption as there is still a very straightforward path to the Gold Medal Game, where the Americans will surely be there to face them.

The quarter finals are next where Canada will play Sweden, USA will play Hungary. To complete the bracket, Finland will play Czechia and the winner there will play Canada or Sweden. And on the other side, the winner of Swiss vs Japan plays USA or Hungary.

As an aside, I really like the format of this tournament, it gives all the teams comparatively more competitive games at all points in the tournament. Except for the quarterfinals, I guess.

QF Schedule Update

All the QF games will be played on Thursday, September 1st. Canada will play Sweden at 2pm ET. The semis are on Saturday, finals on Sunday at 1:30pm ET. We will have a preview for the knockout stage coming soon.

Stats (via IIHF):

Goals: 5-2, USA
Shots: 33-28, USA
Penalties: 2-2

Canada’s Lineup

Forwards

20 Sarah Nurse — 29 Marie-Philip Poulin (C) — 19 Brianne Jenner
44 Sarah Potomak — 10 Sarah Fillier — 9 Jessie Eldridge
26 Emily Clark — 40 Blayre Turnbull — 51 Victoria Bach
47 Jamie-Lee Rattray — 27 Emma Maltais — 7 Laura Stacey
43 Kristen O’Neill

Defenders

3 Jocelyne Larocque — 14 Renata Fast
28 Micah Zandee-Hart — 23 Erin Ambrose
17 Ella Shelton — 12 Meaghan Mikkelson
21 Ashton Bell

Goalies

38 Emerance Maschmeyer
35 Ann-Renée Desbiens

USA’s Lineup

Forwards

23 Hannah Blinka — 20 Hannah Brandt — 21 Hilary Knight
25 Alex Carpenter — 27 Taylor Heise — 28 Amanda Kessel
26 Kendall Coyne Schofield (C) — 12 Kelly Pannek — 6 Lacey Eden
16 Hayley Scamurra — 18 Kesse Compher — 13 Grace Zumwinkle
11 Abby Roque

Defenders

2 Lee Stecklein — 4 Caroline Harvey
15 Savannah Harmon — 5 Megan Keller
3 Cayla Barnes — 19 Jincy Dunne
36 Rory Guilday

Goalies

29 Nicole Hensley
35 Maddie Rooney

Lineup Changes

Erin Ambrose swapped back with Ashton Bell to take her place again on the second pair next to Micah Zandee-Hart. In net, Emerance Maschmeyer took the starter’s net over Ann-Renée Desbiens.

For USA, Hensley got the start over Rooney, who played the Swiss on the weekend. The rest of the lines remained the same.

First Period

The second line for USA (Carpenter, Heise, Kessel) hemmed Canada in for the first couple minutes of the game. They worked hard down low and kept Canada on the back foot by moving the puck from one corner to the other and cutting across the blue paint.

USA’s forwards also did a good job of re-attacking when losing the puck and backing up into passing lanes so Canada’s defenders couldn’t exit the zone. This was a tough lesson for Canada’s forward lines to come down even lower and move the puck out of their zone as a group. Sloppy start for Canada.

1-0

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Sarah Fillier scored first. Zandee-Hart rushed to the corner to keep the puck in as the US almost got the puck out, Canada kept the play alive with Micah couple point shots to the far post. Renata Fast, who had come on for Zandee-Hart, took another shot from the point to the near post this time, Fillier picked up the deflected puck as her momentum went to the far side and tapped in the opening goal with a back hand. This was Canada’s first foray into the offensive zone and it was technically their first shot on goal (I would count four shot attempts).

2-0

Ella Shelton got her second goal in as many games, doubling Canada’s lead at the end of the first period with the same type of goal she scored the first one with. With Kristen O’Neill and Jessie Eldridge down low and causing havoc in front of the net, Bach was able to get her own rebound and push it to the right side. Shelton came down from the point and took a shot on her strong side (which was good because Bach was making a move to her backhand) and got the puck past Hensley to double Canada’s lead.

Second Period

2-1

With Mikkelson in the penalty box, USA scored to bring the game back to within a goal thanks to Megan Keller. Hilary Knight was initially given the secondary assist on the goal that would’ve given her 85 career points at the WWC, one behind Hayley Wickenheiser, but that assist was given to Alex Carpenter instead. Knight ended up getting that 85th point along with her record 50th career goal at the end of the game. For reference, the all-time numbers can be found here.

2-2

Kelly Pannek tied the game not too long after with a tip in the slot while falling down on Cayla Barnes’ shot. Canada was chasing the puck so much when the US got in their zone and only when a shot-rebound came were they able to make some inroads to getting out. This goal was no exception as the Canadians were all behind the play.

Third Period

Not to completely stereotype Canada vs USA games, but rewinding back in time as I’m writing this article I’m fully expecting this period to go scoreless and for someone (probably Pou) to score in overtime. Let’s see if history repeats itself. [Editor’s note: Nope]

2-3

This was the goal that almost didn’t happen as Sarah Nurse was so close to stealing the puck from Savannah Harmon and go the other way on a break. Alas, the diagonal puck got through, just barely, to Lacey Eden and her shot broke the deadlock.

Canada got a power play very soon after this goal, and were able to sustain a little pressure and got a shot off, but they missed their chance to stop a better Team USA in this game.

2-4

USA’s captain Kendall Coyne Schofield extended her team’s lead in front of the net on the rebound. The initial shot came from Savannah Harmon, and KCS pushed Shelton away with her behind and tucked the puck into the net under Maschmeyer.

This was the fourth straight goal Canada gave up and with only four minutes left in the game, Renata Fast took a penalty. Canada killed it off, but Maschmeyer had to make a big glove save after Canada couldn’t contain the puck along the boards and left the front of the slot open.

Canada pulled Maschmeyer immediately after the penalty was done, but they failed to score the rest of the way.

2-5

Hilary Knight scores her 50th goal at the Women’s World Championships on the empty net. As mentioned above, this was her 85th point as well.