CALGARY, Alberta – Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) recorded her 44th Women's World Championship goal to tie Cammi Granato as the Women’s Worlds all-time goal scorer to help the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 3-0 victory over Finland here tonight in preliminary round play at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship at WinSport Arena.
“I give a lot of credit to this Finland team,” said Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), head coach of the 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team. “They are a very skilled team and they play with a lot of tenacity, but I also give a lot of credit to our players who found ways to challenge their game and continued to pressure them offensively throughout. We definitely played our game and it got us the outcome we wanted. It was exciting to watch Hilary tie Cammi’s record. It’s such a huge accomplishment and we have a lot to celebrate as a team.”
The U.S. controlled the first period as it only allowed four shots and generated multiple scoring chances with its 17 shots. Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) struck first with 5:29 to play after Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.) forced a turnover behind the net and kicked the puck to Zumwinkle to put it past Finland netminder Meeri Raisanen.
Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) eyed a two-goal lead during 4-on-4 play where she found herself all alone from a stretch pass, but Raisanen would keep it a one-goal game with :10 left.
In the second period, Jincy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.) sent a shot through traffic which redirected off the skate of Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) to make it 2-0, 6:25 into the frame. The period, again, was all Team USA as Finland’s first of two shots came with 8:16 to go in the stanza. Pannek’s tally remained the lone goal of the period to put the U.S. up a pair after 40.
Knight recorded her first goal of the tournament 13:02 into the final period with help from Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) and Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.). The score remained 3-0 as the final horn sounded for Team USA’s second-straight shutout.
Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) stopped all 10 shots she faced in the victory.
The U.S. returns to the ice Tuesday, Aug. 24, against the Russian Olympic Committee at 2 p.m. ET. That game, along with every U.S. tournament game, will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.
NOTES: Zumwinkle was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Finland, 39-10 … Team USA was 0-3 on the power play, while Finland was 0-5 … For more information about the tournament, click here.