MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) netted Team USA's lone goal to force overtime but the U.S. Women’s National Team was defeated by Canada, 2-1, here tonight in the fifth matchup of the My Why Tour, presented by Toyota.
“It’s always tough on the losing side but I thought it was a great game and a great display of what we’re competing for,” said Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), head coach of the 2021-22 U.S. Women’s National Team. “When both of these teams play, they really bring out the best of each other and that’s a key component to what we’re preparing for.”
A strong defensive presence from Team USA made it difficult for Team Canada to generate scoring opportunities in the opening frame. After a trio of shots within the first five minutes, Canada was held shotless until the final seconds of the period. The U.S. upped the pressure eight minutes in after Jincy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.) got a puck on net and held it in its offensive zone for the next minute and a half. Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) came close to getting Team USA on the board with under seven minutes to play in the period, but Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens turned them away.
Canada found its groove offensively 5:45 into the middle frame with two shots from just a few seconds apart, but Alex Cavallini (Delafield, Wis.), starting goaltender for Team USA, sprawled out in her crease to freeze the puck. Nearly three minutes later, Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin took advantage of a power-play opportunity to take a 1-0 lead 8:44 into the second. Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) nearly tied the game on a loose puck in front of the Canadian net, but came up empty. Cavallini was tested late with five shots during a Canadian power play, but stood tall in net to keep it a 1-0 game after 40 minutes.
Team USA drew two minors for a 5-on-3 advantage and gained momentum with five shots in that span. As the penalties were winding down, Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.) sent a blast that missed the net and bounced off the back wall before finding the tape of Knight beneath the goal line. Knight saw Desbiens out of position and put the puck towards the net which ricocheted off a Canadian defender and into the back of the net to tie the game.
After the U.S. rattled off six of the next seven shots, Canada’s best opportunity in the period came with less than two minutes to go as the puck trickled through Cavallini’s crease. She kept it out of the net to keep the game tied to eventually force overtime.
Decker created a good look on net in overtime followed by Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), who sent one on goal from the blue line quickly after a line change. After another good look from Barnes, Canada stretched the length of the ice and Poulin found the back of the net to take the win, 2-1.
Cavallini started in net for Team USA, stopping 24 shots faced.
The My Why Tour, presented by Toyota, will continue Friday (Dec. 17) against Canada in Maryland Heights, Mo. at 8:00 p.m. ET.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada, 32-26… Team USA was 0-3 on the power play, while Team Canada was 1-2… For more information about the My Why Tour, presented by Toyota, click here.