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U.S. to Take on Japan in WWC Quarterfinals

By USA Hockey, 04/10/19, 8:00PM EDT


Watch live on NHL Network; Puck drop set for 5:30 a.m. ET

The U.S. Women’s National Team (4-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will open the quarterfinal round of the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship this afternoon against Japan. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m. local time/5:30 a.m. ET.

Today’s game against Japan marks the U.S.’s fifth game of the 2019 IIHF Women’s Worlds at Metro Areena in Espoo. All U.S. games are televised live on NHL Network for the first time ever this year, and fans can tune in and follow along with @USAHockey for live game updates.

The U.S. won four games in a row in the preliminary round, marking its fourth-consecutive perfect run through the WWC prelims dating back to 2013. En route to the quarterfinals, the U.S. earned a 6-2 comeback victory over the host nation, Finland, a hard-fought 3-2 win over Canada, and shut-out victories over Switzerland and Russia, 8-0 and 10-0 respectively, to close out the preliminary round.

It has been a full team effort to this stage, with every single U.S. skater reaching the score sheet after the first four games. That includes Melissa Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.), who scored her first WWC goal this past week, and Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.), who scored her first IIHF goal in a USA sweater in her 43rd IIHF game as a member of the team dating back to her U18 days. Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) leads the way for Team USA with seven points (four goals, three assists) and is tied with one other skater for the overall tournament lead in scoring.

The U.S. has faced Japan four times in IIHF tournament play in its history, including Olympics, Women’s Worlds and Under-18 Women’s Worlds, coming away with four victories.

Feb. 12, 1998 Olympics W, 10-0
April 4, 2009 WWC W, 8-0
March 27, 2010 U18 WWC W, 11-1
Jan. 2, 2011 U18 WWC W, 7-1

In the 2009 WWC match-up, Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) laced up for Team USA. Knight scored a hat trick in the victory and the U.S. outshot its opponent 74-8. In addition, multiple members of Team USA were on the ice for the Under-18 Women’s Worlds match-ups, including Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.),  Shelly Picard (Taunton, Mass.), Emily Pfalzer (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) in 2010, and Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.), Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) and Carpenter, Pfalzer and Picard again in 2011.

In today’s game, Knight will tie Jenny Potter and Angela Ruggiero for the most all-time games played at the WWC with 50. Her 10 tournament appearances also tie those two for the most ever, with Bellamy close behind with nine. Knight is also four goals away from tying Cammi Granato as the leading scorer for Team USA at the WWC, with Granato’s record holding at 44. Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) is also close to a milestone, standing just two assists away from tying Krissy Wendell and Jenny Potter for the all-time assists record in WWC play (record is 38). Coyne Schofield is also closing in on her 50th IIHF goal, with just two more needed to reach that benchmark.

2019 U.S. Schedule

All U.S. games were televised live on NHL Network
Games were held at Metro Areena

Thu., April 4 Finland
Espoo, Finland W, 6-2 NHL Network Kendall Coyne Schofield
Sat., April 6 Canada
Espoo, Finland W, 3-2 NHL Network Dani Cameranesi
Sun., April 7 Switzerland
Espoo, Finland W, 8-0 NHL Network Megan Keller
Tue., April 9 Russia
Espoo, Finland W, 10-0 NHL Network Lee Stecklein
Thu., April 11 Japan
Espoo, Finland W, 4-0 NHL Network Maddie Rooney
Sat., April 13 Russia
Espoo, Finland W, 8-0 NHL Network Hilary Knight
Sun., April 14 Finland
Gold-Medal Game
Espoo, Finland W, 2-1 (SO) NHL Network Annie Pankowski

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