ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada, 3-2, in a shootout this afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center. Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) scored the decisive shootout goal and added a pair of assists to pace the team offensively. Goaltender Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) made 37 saves and turned aside all three Canadian shootout attempts.
"We didn’t have the same intensity as before the break but we started getting our legs back and found a way to win,” said Katey Stone, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team. “Fortunately, Jessie was a rock back there and she settled things down when we really needed it.”
Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio) opened the scoring for Team USA at the 13:54 of the first period when Knight’s wrap-around attempt was stopped by Canadian goaltender Charline Labonte but the rebound came to Stack who was left alone in the slot with an open net.
With nine seconds remaining in the second period, Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) fought off a defender and picked up a rebound to score a power play goal and make it 2-0.
Canada would tie the score, 2-2, with a pair of goals in the third period but after a scoreless overtime, the U.S. would prevail in the shootout with Knight scoring the lone tally and Vetter denying three Canadian shooters in front of 9,012 fans in attendance.
The win was Team USA’s third consecutive victory over Canada, knotting the rivals’ head-to-head pre-Olympic tour record at three wins apiece. The two teams will face each other at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday at 7 p.m. ET for the final time before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.