U.S. bests Canada in women’s hockey at Four Nations Cup
Hilary Knight scores 36 seconds into overtime as the United States beat Canada 3-2 in Sunday’s final.
SUNDSVALL, SWEDEN—An opportunistic goal denied Canada a second straight title at the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament.
Hilary Knight scored 36 seconds into overtime as the United States beat Canada 3-2 in Sunday’s final.
Kelli Stack found a streaking Knight at Canada’s blue line with a fantastic pass and Knight did the rest, slipping past Canada’s defenders and beating Canadian goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer.
“Definitely proud of our team and how they played, but it definitely hurts when you fall short when it’s just so close like that,” Canada head coach Laura Schuler said.
The result was the reverse of last year’s title game, when Canada beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime.
Canada led 2-1 after two periods, but American forward Brianna Decker tied it with her second goal of the game 1:46 into the third.
“We created a lot of scoring chances but unfortunately we just didn’t capitalize enough,” Schuler said. “As we go forward we’ll need to focus a little bit more on our specialty teams, our power play, and see if we can generate more that way.”
Natalie Spooner and Meghan Agosta had Canada’s goals. Agosta scored two goals in four games after returning to the national team following a year away to attend police academy in Vancouver.
“Just to have (Agosta) back here at Four Nations, to get her feet wet I think was great for her, and obviously good for us to see where she’s at,” Schuler said.
Maschmeyer and Vetter both stopped 30 shots.
Schuler said Canada’s younger players showed promise at the Four Nations tournament, a good sign for the team heading into the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Kamloops, B.C.
“We brought a lot of young players into this tournament, so we got a real good look at where they’re at in their development and where we’re at as a program. We challenged them with a lot of different tasks and they really stepped up.”
Finland beat Sweden 3-2 in overtime in the bronze-medal game. The Scandinavian countries failed to get a win over the North American powers at the tournament, but both held their own against Canada in the preliminary round. Canada beat Finland 2-0 and Sweden 3-1.
“Those teams have definitely come a long way, as have we,” Schuler said. “So it’s great to see that parity . . . in international play.”