KELOWNA, B.C. – The U.S. defeated Canada 4-3 in a shootout to capture the first game of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series in Kelowna, B.C. on Tuesday night.
Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) scored in the shootout and each notched a goal and an assist in regulation, while Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) didn't allow a goal in the shootout round and stopped 32 shots in the victory.
“It was a classic to be a part of and I thought that once again the rivalry didn't let down in terms of expectations,” said U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.). “It was amazing for us to be able to persevere tonight.”
“We found a way to tie it up, killed off seven [penalties] and then the eighth on a penalty shot and I couldn’t be happier and more proud of the team.”
Carpenter tied the game at 3-3 with 1:25 to play in the third period, when Knight fought for a loose puck and sent it to the forward on the doorstep. The goal came during a 6-on-4 power play with Hensley pulled for the extra attacker. Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) faked a shot and sent a feed to Knight to originally set up the play.
Canada had a chance to take the lead with 39.2 on the clock, when Marie-Philip Poulin was awarded a penalty shot, but Hensley shut the door with a toe save.
The U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the game. Hannnah Brandt (Vadnias Heights, Minn.) broke the ice for the first goal of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series when she threw a puck at the net from the blue line that found its way past Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer to put the U.S. up 1-0. Riley Brengman (China Township, Mich.), who tallied her first point with the U.S. Women’s National Team, picked up the assist on the goal.
Team USA’s penalty kill held strong early on, when Canada went on its first power play just 2:20 into the game, and finished the night 7-for-7. Canada registered a few chances, including Élizabeth Giguère spinning a pass through the crease with 7:30 remaining in the first, but no one was there to put it home, and the U.S. penalty kill held strong.
Early in the second, Knight extended the U.S. led to 2-0. Following a Canadian neutral-zone turnover, Carpenter found Knight all alone in the slot, who scorched a shot past Maschmeyer.
Canada was given yet another power play following the U.S. goal, but netminder Hensley made a number of stellar saves to keep it a 2-0 game.
Canada knotted the contest at two following two goals in 58 seconds. With 7:03 to go in the second period, Canada broke the shutout during 4-on-4 play when Claire Thompson put a shot past Hensley. Poulin then scored the tying goal on a 2-on-1 opportunity less than a minute later.
The U.S. opened the final stanza strong with a slew of strong chances in the offensive zone, but it was the home team that found the back of the net first. Following a defensive-zone turnover, Canada’s Emily Clark deflected a Ranata Fast point shot past Hensley to pull Canada ahead 3-2.
Hensley kept the deficit to one making a sprawling pipe-to-pipe save with 9:22 left in the third. Canada then received a power-play chance, but Hensley and the U.S. defense kept Canada out of the net.
NOTES: Canada outshot the U.S. 35-23 … The U.S. was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Canada was 0-for-7 … The game marked the first shootout appearance for Hensley as a member of the Women's National Team and the second of her career ... The Rivalry Series continues on Thursday (Nov. 17) as the two teams meet up for the second game of the series at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, B.C. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. PT.