HENDERSON, Nev. – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell 3-2 to Canada in the fifth game of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series at The Dollar Loan Center on Thursday night.
Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) scored for the U.S., and netminder Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.) made 13 saves.
“It’s another tight game that really could have gone either way,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.). “I thought Canada’s goaltender was really sharp and they happened to get a really nice bounce there from behind the goal line late in the third.”
“But that seems to be the story of all the games – both teams have equal scoring chances, the goaltending’s sharp; it’s just about who’s going make that one bounce, so they got the one tonight and we’ll move on.”
Team USA and Canada traded power play opportunities in the first period. At 5:56 into the first, Canada’s Jamie Lee Rattray went to the box for holding, and Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) had a chance to give the U.S. the lead with a shot from the faceoff circle.
The U.S. broke through with 1:40 left in the opening frame when Kessel found the back of the net. Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) created a turnover and sent a cross-ice feed to Kessel on the doorstep, who sent the puck past Canada goaltender Kristen Campbell for the 1-0 lead.
Rattray knotted the game at 1-1 at 6:51 into the second period, jumping on a turnover and finding the back of the net off a breakaway. The lead extended to 2-1 when Blayne Turnbull fired home a backdoor feed from Jaime Bourbonnais at 1:02 left in the period.
Team USA entered the third period looking to get the tying goal, and Knight delivered at 6:21 into the frame when she capitalized on a great play by Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.) to flip the puck into center ice, where Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) helped settle it, and Knight pounced to create a breakaway opportunity.
With the game knotted at 2-2, the U.S. created a prime chance to gain the lead, when Heise made a great play through center ice to maintain possession into the offensive zone and then fire off a shot. When her chance didn’t go through, Lacey Eden (Annapolis, M.D.) fired point-blank but Campbell made the stop.
Right after a U.S. penalty kill late in the third period, Sarah Nurse gave Canada the 3-2 lead with 4:56 to go when she threw a puck on net from the goal line after a turnover in the corner.
The U.S. kept pushing and after matching minor penalties created a 4-on-4, an empty net gave the home team a 5-on-4 opportunity with 3:05 to play in the third. After a timeout with 52.1 on the clock., Team USA sent a flurry of chances at Campbell before the final buzzer.
The Rivalry Series will continue on Monday, Dec. 19, when the U.S. will take on Canada at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. PT on NHL Network.
NOTES: Team USA outshot Canada, 23-16… Team USA was 0-4 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill… Team USA now leads the Rivalry Series three games to one.