“I’m proud of the team’s performance tonight,” said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “We played hard and kept pushing the pace all throughout the game. We capitalized on opportunities and really moved the puck well today.”
Team USA went on the penalty kill early in the first period and were able to shut down Canada’s power play.
The U.S. took its turn on the power play after a pair of off-setting penalties resulted in a 5-on-3 advantage. Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) tapped in a rebound on a setup from Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) at 17:19 in the first period to give the U.S. a 1-0 leading heading into the middle frame.
Canada’s Laura Stacey responded with a shorthanded goal 2:07 into the second period to tie the score at one a piece.
Britta Curl (Bismarck, N.D.) put Team USA back in the lead when she intercepted a breakout pass in the Canadian zone and fired a shot past goaltender Kristen Campbell at 11:51 in the second period.
Minutes later, Hannah Bilka (Coppell, Texas) added to the U.S. tally when Carpenter pulled the puck off the boards and chipped it deep into the Canadian zone. Tessa Janecke (Orangeville, Ill.) retrieved the puck behind the net and laid a shot on net where Bilka stood ready to tuck the loose rebound.
Team USA headed into the third period with a 3-1 lead in tow.
Canada came within one goal of the U.S. lead after Jamie Lee Rattray found the back of the net 2:37 into the third period.
Less than a minute later, Hughes put the U.S. back up 4-2, deflecting a one-timer from Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.) and Haley Winn (Rochester, N.Y.) on the power play at 3:19 in the third frame.
Hughes increased Team USA’s lead at 14:32 in the third period when she netted her second goal of the game. Knight chipped the puck to Heise as she entered the zone and set up Hughes with a one-timer as she drove to the net, putting Team USA up 5-2.
Goaltender Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) backstopped the U.S. victory with 23 saves in net.
The Rivalry Series will continue Thurs., Dec. 14, when the U.S. takes on Canada at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network.