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U.S. Falls to Canada, 5-3, in Team USA Winter Champions Series

By, 12/17/16, 4:45PM EST


PLYMOUTH, Mich.Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) scored twice, but the U.S. Women’s National Team fell to Canada, 5-3, here today at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, as part of the Team USA Winter Champions Series.

“We learned a lot of things tonight,” said Robb Stauber, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “We can carry some things into the next game, and we will. When you’re up 3-1 and you have them on the hook, we have to figure out how to get the job done because we were right there.”

Canada tallied 6:37 into the contest with a power-play goal on a breakaway by Rebecca Johnston. With 8:31 remaining in the opening frame, Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) collected a feed at the top of the left circle from Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Grand Forks, N.D.) and fired a slap shot past Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados during a Team USA power play to tie it up.

The U.S. took advantage of a slew of Canadian penalties late in the frame, earning a 2-1 lead when Decker scored on a power play during a net-front scramble with 2:37 left in the opening stanza.

Decker notched her second goal of the game at 5:20 of the middle period to extend Team USA’s lead to 3-1. The play started when Knight skated behind the Canadian goal and delivered a centering pass to Decker, who one-timed it for the score.

Canada cut the U.S. lead to 3-2 with an unassisted goal by Jillian Saulnier at 9:52 of the second frame.

Johnston and Natalie Spooner scored :58 apart in the first two minutes of the final period to give Canada a 4-3 lead. 

Team USA nearly tied the game on multiple occasions during an extended five-on-three late in the contest, hitting two posts, but was unable to net the equalizer. 

Johnston added an empty-net goal for Canada to account for the 5-3 final.

Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) finished with 17 saves for the U.S. 

The U.S. and Canada will meet again at 7 p.m. ET Monday (Dec. 19) at Progressive Arena in Sarnia, Ontario. That game will be streamed live on, in addition to live updates on Twitter @USAHockeyScores.

NOTES: Team USA outshot Canada, 37-22, and finished 2-for-10 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill … The U.S. now owns a 5-2-1-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record against Canada since the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia … The Team USA Winter Champions Series is a daylong celebration of the Road to Pyeongchang. For complete coverage of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Team USA Winter Champions Series, click here. Join the conversation using the hashtag #WCS2016 … USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, will also play host to the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship from March 31-April 7, 2017. For complete event information, click here.