HERNING, Denmark – It was a day of firsts as four players tallied their first points for the U.S. Women’s National Team and a total of 14 different players recorded points as Team USA shutout Japan, 10-0, in the opening game of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship at the KVIK Ice Center in Herning, Denmark on Thursday.
"We set out to do a lot of different things today, mainly focused on our play in the offensive zone," said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the 2022 U.S. Women's National Team. "I thought we were diligent with that and making educated plays with the puck. I thought our efficiency level was outstanding and I liked the amount of net front play we had. I was very happy with that."
Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) broke the ice 6:30 into game with a snap shot from the slot to beat Japan’s netminder just under the crossbar on the glove side. Lacey Eden (Annapolis, Md.) made a pass to Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) on the goal line, who found Pannek in the slot to set up the opening goal of the tournament.
Rory Guilday (Minnetonka, Minn.) made it 2-0 less than two minutes later. Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) dished the puck to Guilday at the right point, who slid it across to Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, Ill.) before getting the puck right back. Guilday wristed it through traffic and the puck hit off the left post and deflected in for her first goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.) added a third for Team USA with a minute left in the period. Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) got her stick on a loose puck and tipped it to Harvey, who sent a backhander over the glove hand of Japan’s goaltender. With the assist, Heise tallied her first point for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
49 seconds later, Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.) made it 4-0. Heise sent the puck to Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich.) at the top of the zone, who found Scamurra at the left faceoff dot. Scamurra fired a wrister bar down.
Eden was the next to score, recording her first goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Coyne Schofield connected with Harmon, who put the puck towards the net, airborne, and Eden tipped it in just 1:15 into the period.
Another first-timer, Hannah Bilka (Coppell, Texas) netted her first for the U.S. Women’s National Team to make it 5-0 on the power play. Heise picked up the assist, sending the puck to Bilka right off the faceoff. Another power-play goal made it 7-0 off the stick of Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.). Cayla Barnes (Eastvale, Calif.) and Coyne Schofield picked up assists on the play.
It was then Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) who gave the U.S. an 8-0 lead. Heise sent the puck down the slot to Carpenter, who immediately put the puck on goal and into the net. Kessel also added an assist. Kessel then scored one of her own to make it 9-0. Heise made a cross-ice pass to Kessel, who scored a back door goal with 1:23 left in the second.
Carpenter added her second at the 3:56 mark in the third. Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) sent the puck net front, and Carpenter picked it loose from a scramble to round out scoring at a 10-0.
In net for Team USA was Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.), who made six saves to earn the shutout.
Team USA continues preliminary-round play of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship on Saturday (Aug. 27) against Finland. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) and can be watched live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Taylor Heise was named the Player of the Game for Team USA … Team USA outshot Japan 62-6 … Team USA was 2-6 on the powerplay, while Japan was 0-2 ... Click here for pregame information.