LEKSAND, Sweden – Despite Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) stopping 22 of the 23 shots she faced, the U.S. Women's Select Team fell to Canada by a 2-0 count in the title game of the 2007 Women's Four Nations Cup here tonight at Ejendals Arena. Team USA finished the tournament in second place with a 2-0-0-2 record.
Canada went up 1-0 midway through the first period and added an empty-netter with four seconds left in the game to secure the 2-0 win.
"It was an outstanding hockey game," said Jackie Barto, head coach of Team USA. "We battled and competed hard for 60 minutes and generated some very good scoring chances. Overall, we grew as a team during the tournament and set the stage for what our expectations are for the coming year."
Despite a 12-8 U.S. shot advantage in the opening stanza, it was Canada that struck first. The lone first-period tally came when Jennifer Botterill put the puck through Vetter's legs at 10:21 from the left side of the net.
The goaltenders held tight in the middle frame, as the score remained 1-0 after 40 minutes. One of Team USA's best chances came around the 13-minute mark when Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) skated the puck into the Canadian zone on a breakaway, but was stopped by goalie Shannon Szabados.
The 1-0 Canadian lead continued to hold through the third period and, with Vetter pulled in favor of an extra attacker in the last minute of regulation, Team Canada put one in the empty net at 19:56 to account for the 2-0 final score.
Vetter made 22 saves in net for Team USA, while Szabados earned the shutout victory for Canada with 22 stops.
NOTES: Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game. She also led the team with three points (1-2) in four games ... Team USA was 0-for-4 on the power play, while holding Canada scoreless on six man-advantage chances ... Canada held the 24-22 shots advantage ... The United States has finished either first or second in each of the 11 years it has competed in the Women's Four Nations Cup (Three Nations Cup from 1996-99), including second-place finishes the last four years ... Joining Jackie Barto on the coaching staff as assistant coaches were Paul Flanagan, head women’s ice hockey coach at St. Lawrence University, and Kevin Houle, head women’s ice hockey coach at SUNY Plattsburgh ... Four other USA Hockey teams saw international action this week, including the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams, the U.S. Men's Select Team and the U.S. Junior Select Team. For more information, visit usahockey.com.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, CAN, Botterill (Collins), 10:21. Penalties: USA, Duggan (high-sticking), 3:34; USA, Darwitz (slashing), 15:46.
Second Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: CAN, Kingsbury (slashing), 2:01; USA, Potter (hooking), 6:18; CAN, Apps (tripping), 15:22.
Third Period - Scoring: 2, CAN, Wickenheiser (unassisted), 19:56 (en). Penalties: USA, Chu (holding), :25; CAN, Vaillancourt (slashing), 1:04; USA, Engstrom (cross-checking), 6:19; USA, Parsons (tripping), 9:58; CAN, Sostorics (interference), 14:28.
Shots by Period
|USA, Vetter, 60:00||8-7||8-8||7-7||23-22|
|CAN, Szabados, 60:00||12-12||5-5||5-5||22-22|
Power Play: USA 0-4; CAN 0-6
Penalties: USA 6-12; CAN 4-8
Officials: Referee - Arina Ustinova; Linesmen - Malin Axelsson, Annica Floden