BURLINGTON, Vt. - The game didn't matter in any standings, but U.S. head coach Katey Stone found plenty of reasons to care about the 3-2 loss to Canada here tonight to kick off the Bring on the World Tour.
Before the game, Stone said she wanted to learn about her team in the first game of the season and she was candid about what she took away after the loss.
"You better be ready to play when the puck drops and play 60 minutes of hockey," she said. "We probably only played 18 minutes of good hard-nosed USA hockey."
Both teams started slow as they found their legs in the first period. Canada gained the edge in the middle period, outshooting the U.S. and scoring twice. The Americans said after the game that the fix for coming out strong is hard work.
"You want to beat them to every puck and you want to work harder than they do so that's something we're going to take away from this," said Meghan Duggan, who had an assist.
Canada scored once more in the third before the U.S. gained the momentum. Goals by Brianna Decker and Gigi Marvin drew the game to a one-goal margin.
Although the U.S. didn't find the tying goal, Stone found a positive lesson in defeat.
"We showed a little bit of moxie in the third period," she said. "We've got a lot of fight in the dog."
Julie Chu said the lessons will be applied right away with video sessions and meetings as the Bring on the World Tour continues.
"When you lose, there are ways to get better and even when you win there are ways to get better and that's where we are right now," she said.