OTTAWA, Ontario. – U.S. netminder Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.) recorded a 26-save shutout and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) netted her second-straight game winning goal as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada, 2-0, here tonight in the fourth matchup of the My Why Tour, presented by Toyota.
“I’m just really excited about where our team is going,” said Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), head coach of the 2021-22 U.S. Women’s National Team. “We’re making steps in the right direction. October was what it was and now November is in our rearview mirror so now we just keep going and continue to improve.”
Team Canada tested the U.S. early with its first shot but Rooney blocked it aside. Nearly a minute later, Rooney came out of her crease to make a crucial poke check on a lethal scoring opportunity from Canada. After the opening minutes, the U.S. settled down defensively and held Canada to three shots throughout the first 20. The best opportunity in the first for Team USA came with less than five minutes to go. Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) received a cross-ice pass and fired the puck on net, but Canadian goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens got in front of it to go into intermission tied, 0-0.
Rooney continued to stand strong in net in the middle frame where she kept a loose puck from passing the goal line in the opening minutes. Moments later, she sprawled across the crease in an all-out effort to keep the game knotted at zero.
At 8:28 in the second period, Cayla Barnes (Eastvale, Calif.) intercepted a Canadian clearing attempt while on the power play and sent the puck to the tape of Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.). Keller sent a one-time blast toward the net where Knight redirected the shot to break the stalemate. Four minutes later, the U.S. took advantage of a five-on-three power play opportunity. Tic-tac-toe passing in the offensive zone was finished off in the slot by Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) to give the team a two-goal lead.
Key saves from Rooney were a trend throughout play as Canada eyed to cut its deficit early in the third. A good look for Canada one minute in followed by a few scoring opportunities were halted in its tracks by the U.S. netminder to keep the team in front. In the final minutes, Canada sent its goalie to the bench for the extra skater to try and get on the board. Significant saves from Rooney and blocked shots from the U.S. kept Canada scoreless and gave Team USA its second-straight win.
Rooney started in net for Team USA, stopping 26 shots faced and recording the first shutout of the My Why Tour for either team.
The My Why Tour, presented by Toyota, will continue Wednesday, Dec. 15, against Canada in St. Louis, Mo. at 8:00 p.m. ET.
NOTES: Canada outshot the U.S., 26-20… Team USA was 2-6 on the power play, while Team Canada was 0-6… For more information about the My Why Tour, presented by Toyota, click here.