CALGARY, Alberta – Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) tallied two goals here tonight as Team USA fell to Canada, 3-2, in overtime of the gold-medal game of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
“I am really proud of this group.” said Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), head coach of the 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team. “I thought we had great first period, we weathered the storm in the second and followed it up with a really good third period. Then you get to overtime and anything happens. Either way, I am really proud of what we accomplished here.”
Play was physical on both sides of the ice as each team generated a few opportunities at the start of the game. It wasn’t until 9:55 into the frame where Carpenter opened the scoring to put the U.S. up 1-0. A saucer pass from the point by Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) found the tape of Carpenter who shot and picked up her own rebound to score. Carpenter struck again, this time on the powerplay, 2:40 later to give Team USA a big 2-0 lead. Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) took a shot from the point through bodies which hit the chest of Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens to set up Carpenter for another rebound opportunity.
Canada kept up the pressure though, with a good look on net 6:34 left in the period but U.S. goaltender Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) came up with the save. Hensley was tested 1:33 later after a shot rang off the pipe but she was able to cover it up to preserve the score at 2-0 after the first 20 minutes.
Team USA came on the attack early with a handful of shots, but Canada later took advantage of its power play opportunity to get on the board. Quickly after, Canada found the back of the net to tie the game 6:42 into the stanza. Hensley kept the game tied at two with a stretch save with six minutes left in the second, followed by a pair of saves in the final minutes.
The intensity was matched on both sides of the ice in the third. Hensley made a pivotal save with nearly a minute left in regulation as neither team could break the tie which forced overtime.
Team USA had a good look on net in 3-on-3 overtime, but Canada scored the game-winning goal 7:22 into the frame.
Hensely started in net for the U.S., stopping 29 shots.
NOTES: Hensley was named U.S. Player of the Game … Canada outshot the US, 32-25 … Team USA was 1-5 on the power play, while Canada was 1-4 … Stecklein led the U.S. in the tournament in points with seven (two goals, five assists) … Stecklein was named the top defensive player of the tournament and to the tournament all-star team … The IIHF announced the three best players for the U.S. after its semifinal win yesterday, which included Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Stecklein … At the 2021 IIHF WWC, the U.S. outshot its opponents 294-116 and outscored the opposition 34-10 … For more information about the tournament, click here.