KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The U.S. Women’s National Team blanked Sweden, 3-0, in its final preliminary game of the 2014 Four Nations Cup. Team USA amassed a 50-to-11 shot advantage over Sweden, and U.S. goaltender Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle (Sheffield Village, Ohio) was perfect, stopping all 11 shots, en route to victory.
Team USA opened the scoring at 5:12 of the first period on a failed Swedish breakout. Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich./Quinnipiac University) snagged the puck in the neutral zone and passed to Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) who skated to the top of the right circle and fired a wrist shot that beat goaltender Sara Grahn to give the U.S. the early lead.
With 5:35 left in the second stanza, the U.S. doubled its lead on the power play. Cycling the puck deep in the offensive zone, Emily Pfalzer (Getzville, N.Y./Boston College) skated from the top of the slot to the center of the right circle and snuck a shot under the goaltender.
Later in the period, while shorthanded, the U.S. won an offensive-zone battle along the boards, and Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) came off the right half wall, skated across the top of the goal crease and, going forehand to backhand, put the puck in the top right-hand corner of the net to make it 3-0 with 32 seconds to play in the period.
Sweden stepped up its attack in the third period, and McLaughlin-Bittle stopped all eight Swedish shots to preserve the shutout victory. She and Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.) have now both recorded shutouts for the U.S. at the 2014 Four Nations Cup.
With today’s victory, Team USA clinched a spot in the championship matchup tomorrow (Nov. 8) against either Canada or Finland, who play later tonight. Puck drop for tomorrow’s title contest is set for 10 p.m. ET and can be seen live on FASTHockey.com.
WOODRIDGE, Ill. - The U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team captured the silver medal with a 5-4 overtime loss to Canada here tonight in the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's U18 Championship gold-medal game in Walter Bush Rink. Team USA finished the tournament with a 4-0-0-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L) after suffering its first loss in the three-year history of the event.
The U.S. was up 3-1 after the first period of the back-and-forth game and held a 4-2 lead late in the middle frame before Canada staged a comeback and tied the game midway through the final stanza. Tournament MVP Jessica Campbell scored the game-winner for Canada just 3:10 into the 4-on-4 sudden-death overtime session in front of a standing room-only crowd of nearly 1,200.
"That was a great hockey game between two great teams," said Katie King, head coach for Team USA. "I couldn't be more proud of how the team competed throughout the tournament. They all worked extremely hard and will learn and grow from this experience."
Less than a minute into the first period,Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) netted a power-play marker to give Team USA a 1-0 lead. From the right corner, Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) passed to Carpenter, who snapped the puck under the pads of Canadian goaltender Carmen MacDonald from the slot.
After Canada's Laurie Kingsbury tied the game at 3:47 while on the power play,Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) put Team USA back in front after skating around a Canadian defender and backhanding a shot past MacDonald at the 10:03 mark. Just :47 later, Zoe Hickel (Anchorage, Alaska) took a faceoff win from Melissa Bizzari (Stowe, Vt.) and wristed a shot over the goaltender's right shoulder to give the U.S. a 3-1 advantage.
Canada made it a 3-2 contest with a power-play goal from Christine Bestland at 9:29 of the second period, but Meagan Mangene's (Manorville, N.Y.) power-play marker at 16:17 put Team USA back up by two goals. Canada's Melodie Daoust closed the gap, 4-3, with a goal :37 later to close out the frame's scoring.
In the third period, Canada tied the game at 12:29 with a goal from Jenna McParland, and Campbell scored the overtime winner at 3:10 of the extra frame.
U.S. netminder Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.), who was named the best goaltender of the tournament by the IIHF Directorate for the second consecutive year, turned aside 45 shots in the silver medal-winning effort. Meanwhile, Coyne was named the top forward after finishing with a tournament-leading 10 goals.
NOTES: Meagan Mangene was named Team USA's player of the game ... Although it appeared that Kendall Coyne had scored for the U.S. early in the third period, the goal was called off after it was determined that the puck hit the crossbar ... Team USA was 2-for-8 on the power play, while Canada was 2-for-9 ... Alex Rigsby, Coyne and Mangene were named Team USA's top-three players ... Rigsby finished the tournament with a 2-0-0-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L), a .932 save percentage and 1.64 goals-against average ... The U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team has captured a medal at all three IIHF World Women's U18 Championships (Gold-2008, 2009; Silver-2010) ... Tournament photos are available at ImagesOnIce.net... The IIHF World Women's U18 Championship, which was staged for the first time on U.S. soil at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena, was held for the third time ... The eight-nation tournament included Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden and the United States ... Katie King, three-time Olympian and head women's hockey coach at Boston College, was Team USA's head coach, with Shelley Looney, two-time Olympian and girls'/women's hockey director for the New Jersey Colonials, and Catherine Hanson, former U.S. Women's National Team member who spent seven seasons as an assistant women's hockey coach at The Ohio State University, serving as assistant coaches ... For more information on the 2010 IIHF World Women's U18 Championship, visit Chicago2010Hockey.com.
Scoring By Period
CAN 1 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 5
USA 3 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 4
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Carpenter (Ammerman), :50 (pp); 2, CAN, Kingsbury (Rattray, Daoust), 3:47 (pp); 3, USA, Coyne (Figueroa), 10:03; 4, USA, Hickel (Bizzari), 10:50. Penalties: CAN, Kingsbury (diving), :44; USA, Lorence (hooking), 3:24; USA, Coyne (holding), 5:38; CAN, Armstrong (holding), 11:09; USA, Picard (holding), 15:14; USA, Hickel (tripping), 19:18.
Second Period - Scoring: 5, CAN, Bestland (Saulnier, Campbell), 9:29 (pp); 6, USA, Mangene (Coyne, Pelkey), 16:17 (pp); 7, CAN, Daoust (Lacquette, Kingsbury), 16:54. Penalties: CAN, Doyle (interference), 4:11; USA, Figueroa (holding), 7:42; USA, Figueroa (holding), 12:29; CAN, Cai. MacDonald (tripping), 15:05; CAN, Poudrier (hooking), 19:14.
Third Period - Scoring: 8, CAN, McParland (Poudrier), 12:29. Penalties: CAN, Kingsbury (holding), 1:35; CAN, Lacquette (roughing), 2:44; USA, Mangene (tripping), 4:58; USA, Gedman (slashing), 6:59; USA, Gedman (hooking), 9:44; CAN, Bestland (tripping), 12:33.
Overtime - Scoring: 9, CAN, Campbell (Lacquette, Ambrose), 3:10. Penalties: None.
Shots by Period 1 2 3 OT Total
CAN 14 16 17 3 50
USA 10 12 17 2 41
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 OT Total
CAN, Car. MacDonald, 63:10 10-7 12-11 17-17 2-2 41-37
USA, Rigsby, 63:10 14-13 16-14 17-16 3-2 50-45
Power Play: CAN 2-9; USA 2-8
Penalties: CAN 8-16; USA 9-18
Officials: Referee-Tara Leighton (USA); Linesmen-Helene Roy (CAN), Therese Bjorkman (SWE)