PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) stopped all 18 shots she faced, and Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Gigi Marvin (Warroad, Minn.) netted goals, as the U.S. Women’s National Team earned a 2-0 victory over rival Canada here tonight at USA Hockey Arena to open the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship.
“We came out and played with a lot of poise and everyone contributed to tonight’s victory,” said Robb Stauber, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team. “Our veterans led the way, Hensley stood tall in net and our new players brought a lot of energy to the team. I'm glad we were able to win tonight in such a great atmosphere created by our fans.”
The U.S. outshot Canada, 12-5, in the opening frame, but was unable to find the back of the net as the teams remained scoreless entering the first intermission. Team USA’s best chance came when the puck crossed the line during a net-front scramble, but the play was whistled dead just prior.
The teams continued to trade chances for the majority of the middle period before the U.S. broke the deadlock with 2:06 left in the stanza. The play started when Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) curled around the net and fed a cross-crease pass to Decker, who tapped home the puck for the game’s opening goal.
Team USA took the one-goal lead into the final frame, and Hensley preserved the advantage when she stopped a point-blank tip by Blayre Turnbull just over a minute into the last period.
Marvin made it a two-goal game when her wrist shot from the point beat goaltender Shannon Szabados 4:49 into the third stanza.
The U.S. continues play tomorrow (April 1) against Russia at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on the NHL Network in addition to being streamed live on NHL.com.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada, 30-18 and finished 0-for-1 on the power play. For complete game statistics, click here … Nicole Hensley was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. is the defending champion and has played Canada in the gold medal game in all 17 of the previous events, capturing the event's top prize a total of seven times (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), including six of the last seven tournaments … For full coverage of Team USA at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, click here … For complete event and ticket information, click here.
|Date||Opponent||Round||Time (ET)/Result||U.S. Player of Game|
|Fri., March 31||Canada||Preliminary||W, 2-0||Nicole Hensley|
|Sat., April 1||Russia||Preliminary||W, 7-0||Kendall Coyne|
|Mon., April 3||Finland||Preliminary||W, 5-3||Hannah Brandt|
|Thurs., April 6||Germany||Semifinal||W, 11-0||Kendall Coyne|
|Fri., April 7||Canada||Gold-Medal Game||W, 3-2 OT||Kacey Bellamy|