LAVAL, Que. – The U.S. Women’s National Team dropped the final game of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series against Canada, 5-0, at Place Bell on Wednesday.
The U.S. Women’s National Team is next in action at the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship, taking place April 5-16 in Brampton, Ont.
“It’s always a battle between these two teams, and their goaltender shut the door tonight,” said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the 2022-23 U.S. Women’s National Team. “It’s obviously not the way we wanted to close out the series, but we’ll regroup and look ahead to April.”
Team USA opened the game buzzing on offense, drawing its first power-play opportunity less than five minutes into the first period. The U.S. had a few short-range opportunities, but Canadian goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens kept the tilt scoreless.
The U.S. line of Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.), Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), kept the puck in the offensive zone with solid puck movement, resulting in a stream of point-blank shots that were stopped by Desbiens.
Despite Team USA having the shots advantage early in the game, Canada opened the scoring late in the first period. Ella Shelton carried the puck over the blue line and fired a short wrister from the circle that trickled through the crease, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Early in the middle frame, Canada doubled its lead when Marie-Philip Poulin sent a rising shot from inside the left circle past U.S. netminder Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.).
Canada’s Blayre Turnbull recorded two goals in 22 seconds midway through the second, extending Canada’s lead to 4-0, before Victoria Bach made it a 5-0 game at 12:34 into the frame.
Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) generated scoring opportunities for the U.S., including one on the power play late early in the third, but Desbiens shut the door and stopped all 25 Team USA shots en route to the shutout.
U.S. netminder Maddie Rooney entered the game with 9:34 to go in the second period, and made 8 saves, while Hensley stopped five shots on goal.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada, 25-18 … Team USA went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and was 0-for-3 on the power play … Canada took the final four games of the Rivalry Series, after the U.S. started the series with three wins: 4-3 (SO) in Kelowna, B.C. (Nov. 15); 2-1 in Kamloops, B.C. (Nov. 17); 4-2 in Seattle (Nov. 20).