Canada defeats USA 3-1 in pre-Olympic women’s hockey game at PPL Center (PHOTOS)
ALLENTOWN | Coach Troy Ryan might forget how Canada’s women’s hockey team sagged in the second period as they resumed their cross-border rivalry with the United States on Friday night.
What mattered was her team’s reaction, with Emily Clark scoring twice in the third period to secure a 3-1 win in Game 1 of a nine-game pre-Olympic rivalry streak between the two. nations. Friday’s series opener was at the PPL Center in Allentown with eight more games scheduled for January between the nations in Hartford, Connecticut; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kingston, Ontario; Saint-Paul, Minnesota; Edmonton, Alberta; and Red Deer, Alberta.
“Yeah, that’s just one of those times that we’d love to see again,” Ryan said of a 20-minute streak in which Canada were outscored 1-0, 15-3. “But also in a process like this, we’re happy that these things are happening because then you can see how your team is reacting. And I think they answered that call.
Settled in the right circle, Clark scored the deciding goal with a shot from inside the right post at 5:05 of the third period, then sealed the victory by scoring in an empty net with six seconds left.
Sarah Fillier also scored and Emerance Maschmeyer made 28 saves in the first meeting between the world’s top hockey powers since Canada’s 3-2 overtime win in the gold medal game of the women’s world championships in Calgary, Alberta, August 31. The Canadians won three straight games to score their best streak of five straight before a 3-2 shootout loss in the gold medal game at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.
While the loss was painful, US captain Kendall Coyne Schofield saw encouraging signs that a team was shedding rust after a two-month hiatus to prepare to defend their Olympic gold medal.
“The best part is we’ve got them eight more times,” said Coyne Schofield, as the two nations are scheduled to meet again in Hartford, Connecticut, on Monday. “We didn’t get the result we wanted today, but I think we have a great opportunity to learn from this game, to learn from our mistakes, to learn from the things we did well and to integrate them into Hartford. “
Alex Cavallini stopped 16 shots in the loss. Hayley Scamurra scored for the United States and nearly tied Rebecca Johnston’s turnaround on the Canadian side before seeing her backhand pushed back about 20 seconds after Clark scored her first goal.
“I was lucky, I just have to bury it,” Scamurra said. “But I’m proud of the way our team kind of fought after that goal. And I think we brought that to them. And we just have to find a way to score.
The teams traded power-play goals in the first 40 minutes, with Canada opening the scoring on Fillier’s goal at 13:39 to go into the first period, and 29 seconds after Abby Roque was penalized for having tripped.
On the face-off in the American zone, Canada returned the puck to Erin Ambrose, whose shot from the blue line was knocked down by teammate Johnston. Cavallini made the save, but couldn’t control the rebound, which dribbled to his left, where an intact Fillier swept him into the open side.
Scamurra tied 11:21 in the second period, when Maschmeyer stopped Caroline Harvey’s point shot. Scamurra pulled away from Renata Fast up front and covered the rebound inside the crossbar.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down women’s hockey for 18 months, the outing was the United States team’s first against an international opponent on American soil in 622 days, dating back to a 4-3 victory in overtime against Canada in a rivalry series played in Anaheim, Calif. on February 8, 2020.
The first period was not over before animosity between the two teams became apparent with American forward Hilary Knight trading blows with Canadian Melodie Daoust after a scramble in front of the Canadian net with three seconds left.
REMARKS: US G Maddie Rooney, who missed the world championship after sustaining a lower-body injury, is back in action and is unlikely to play until the team moves on to play a three-game series against Russia in Northern Ireland from November 9. … Canada Dr Blayre Turnbull, who broke his fibula during gold medal celebrations in August, has returned to skating but there is no schedule for his return. … Coyne Schofield has played his 150th international game, including in the Under-18s and U-22s.
Through JEAN WAWROW
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