BRAMPTON, Ontario – The U.S. Women’s National Team forced overtime with 3.4 on the clock in the third period before falling 4-3 to Canada in a shootout to close out the preliminary round of the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship on Monday night at the CAA Centre.
Team USA now heads into Thursday’s quarterfinal round with a 3-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record through four games. The U.S. will face a to-be-determined opponent from Group B at 1:30 p.m. ET live on NHL Network.
“I just had to hope the whole time. I believe in our group, I believe in our goaltending,” said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the 2023 U.S. Women’s National Team. “I was so encouraged by the way that we battled and kept playing against a team that is strong, fast, and skilled. For us to be able to compete, I had confidence and I believed in our group.”
With 2:44 to go in the third period, and trailing by one goal, the U.S. attempted to tie the game with an extra attacker before Canada scored an empty-netter to make it 3-1.
Canada then saw a goal waived with 2:05 to go due to goalie interference.
With only a two-goal deficit, Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) pounced on a rebound and made it a 3-2 game with 39.0 on the clock. Caroline Harvey (Salem, N.H.) fired the initial shot that created the loose puck in front. After an official video review, the goal stood.
The U.S. generated multiple chances in the waning seconds, and it was Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) who shoveled in a backhander after a battle down low with just 3.4 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 3-3 and force overtime. Hannah Bilka (Coppell, Texas) sent the first backhander on goal that forced a rebound in the crease.
The U.S. and Canada traded power-play opportunities in the extra frame, as well as scoring chances. Knight was stopped all alone in front when Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens flashed the glove, and Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) generated a chance down low at the buzzer.
A nine-round shootout commenced, with Knight deking and netting a backhander for Team USA’s lone goal in the first round. Brianne Jenner also scored in the first round for Canada. The next seven rounds went goal-less, until Jamie Lee Rattray broke through in the ninth round, pushing a backhander past Team USA goaltender Aerin Frankel (Chappaqua, N.Y.).
Frankel was strong in net, making 29 saves in the game and allowing just two goals in the shootout.
Team USA had opened the scoring at 8:45 into the first period when Bilka beat Desbiens on a wrist shot stick side for the early 1-0 lead. Roque and Tessa Janecke (Orangeville, Ill.) earned assists on the play. Canada, however, responded four minutes later when Sarah Fillier tied the game at 1-1 with 7:22 left in the first period.
Marie-Philip Poulin gave Canada a 2-1 lead 3:08 into the second period with a 5-on-3 power-play goal.
Notes: Hilary Knight was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. recorded 29 shots, while Canada registered 37 …The U.S. was 1-for-5 on the power play, and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill … Team USA will next face off in the quarterfinal round on April 13 at 1:30 p.m. ET with the opponent to be determined.