HERNING, Denmark – In its only pre-tournament competition before the start of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship, Team USA dropped a tough 3-1 battle to Canada at the KVIK Ice Center in Herning, Denmark on Tuesday.
The U.S. jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) put a rebound past the Canadian netminder less than six minutes into the game. Lacey Eden (Annapolis, Md.) and Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) recorded the assists on the opening score.
Team USA maintained consistent offensive pressure throughout the first, posting a number of solid scoring chances. With 5:28 left in the first stanza, forward Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.) picked the puck off Canada’s defense deep in the offensive zone, but Ann-Renée Desbiens swallowed the shot to keep the score at 1-0.
Early in the second, an errant clear by Team USA wound up on Canada’s stick, but the puck would be cleared out of an empty crease by the U.S. defense.
Canada knotted the game at one 2:27 into the middle period when Blayre Turnbull shot a rising stick-side shot past Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) on a 2-on-1 opportunity.
On a power-play opportunity in the middle of the period, Team Canada’s Jessie Eldridge put a rebound into the back of the net in a scramble to take a 2-1 lead.
The U.S. opened the third with 1:46 of power-play time, but Canada’s penalty kill held them off.
After a back and forth start to the third, Canada went on the power play. Goaltender Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.) made a sprawling save just outside the crease in the early second of the player advantage to keep the Canadians off the board. With 12 seconds remaining in the power play though, Sarah Fillier extended Canada’s lead to 3-1.
With 1:30 remaining in the game, Team USA pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker, but could not make up the two-goal deficit.
Team USA opens preliminary-round play of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship on Thursday against Japan. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. local time, 9 a.m. eastern time, and can be watched live on NHL Network.