SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The U.S. Women’s National Team dropped a 6-1 decision to Canada in game seven of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.
With the loss, Canada claimed the series title, winning four of the seven games.
“Winning the special teams battle is the starting point for success in international hockey, and that was the crux of these past three games,” said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “On a positive note, I thought we improved in some areas throughout the series which was fantastic. I give a lot of credit to our players.
The U.S. went on the power play 5:08 into the first period after Canada was called for tripping, but was unable to capitalize.
Canada struck first on a power play of their own at 12:06 of the opening frame when Natalie Spooner tucked a rebound past goaltender Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) to take a 1-0 lead.
Canada took a three-goal lead in the second period. Marie-Philip Poulin scored a power-play goal at the 0:57 mark, and Ashton Bell found the back of the net at 10:42.
Team USA got on the board when Grace Zumwinke (Excelsior, Minn.) scored short-handed goal at 17:29. Canadian goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens skated out to the bottom of the circle to play the puck, but Zumwinkle picked the puck off her stick and buried it in an empty net.
Spooner netted her second goal of the game a minute later to send Canada into the third period with a 4-1 lead.
Emma Maltais scored a pair of back-to-back goals for Canada in the final third. She capitalized on a short-handed breakaway at the 4:21 mark, and then slipped the puck past Abbey Levy (Congers, N.Y.), who took over for Hensley in goal in the second period, on her backhand at 7:58 to secure a 6-1 victory for Canada in game seven.
NOTES: Team USA outshot Canada 25-22… Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) and Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes, Minn.) led the U.S. roster with three goals and Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) led with six points (2G, 4A) in the 2023-24 Rivalry Series.