WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – Ten U.S. players earned points as Team USA topped Team NWHL, 6-2, here today at Florida Hospital Center Ice in the second of two exhibition games between the two teams.
Team NWHL struck first with 8:52 remaining in the opening frame when Hayley Scamurra took a pass from Jordan Smelker and shot the puck past the left pad of U.S. netminder Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.). The U.S. nearly evened the score at the 3:40 mark when U.S. forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Ill.) found Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) with a centering pass, but her shot was denied by NWHL goaltender Brittany Ott. Though shots on goal favored the U.S., 13-4, the first period ended with Team NWHL leading, 1-0.
The U.S. got on the board just 2:43 into the second period when Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) carried the puck into the offensive zone and connected with Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Grand Forks, N.D.), who skated down the middle and scored. Just 1:15 later, Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) passed the puck to the top of the crease where Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) was waiting to bang home the go-ahead goal. Lamoureux-Morando added her second goal of the game when she gathered her own rebound and scored 5:05 into the period. On the power play halfway through the middle frame, Brandt waited on the post for a pass from Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) and scored to give the U.S. a three-goal advantage. With 3:39 remaining, Haley Skarupa (Rockville, Md.) added a tally, off assists from Cayla Barnes (Eastvale, Calif.) and Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.), to give the U.S. a 5-1 advantage entering the final period.
In the final frame, Jordan Smelker of Team NWHL scored 12 seconds into the period to cut the deficit to three. With 3:10 remaining in the game, Skarupa added an empty-net goal to account for the 6-2 final.
Rigsby stopped 14 of 16 shots in the victory.
NOTES: Nine players on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team competed in the NWHL during the 2016-17 season, including Emily Pfalzer (Buffalo, N.Y.), who helped the Buffalo Beauts win the 2017 Isobel Cup. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.), Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.), Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Gigi Marvin (Warroad, Minn.) and Amanda Pelkey (Montpelier, Vt.) played for Boston; Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) with New York; and Haley Skarupa (Rockville, Md.) with the Connecticut Whale ... The full 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team roster was revealed on Monday, Jan. 1. For the full roster, click here ... Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's director of women's hockey, is the general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team ... Robb Stauber (Medina, Minn.) is the head coach of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team.