Defending world champions Canada beat the United States 4-2 to conclude the group stage and win Group A of the Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament. Jamie Lee Rattray scored the game-winning goal in the second period as Canada finished strong for the win. Brianne Jenner scored Canada’s first two goals in crucial moments and Marie-Philip Poulin provided a crucial insurance goal for the first-ever penalty shot in Olympic women’s hockey history.
Ann Renee Desbiens stopped 51 in the victory, while her counterpart Maddie Rooney allowed four goals on 27 shots for Canada. Canada was outshot in the first period, but came back strong in the second as both teams raced back and forth. The Americans pushed hard for a few goals to get them back in the game in the third, but Canada was able to protect their lead.
Canada will now face the third-place team in Group B, with the United States on the other side of the table, lining things up for a potential rematch (likely) in the final game next Thursday (February 17).
Emily Clark – Marie-Philip Poulin (C) – Brianne Jenner
Jamie-Lee Rattray – Sarah Fillier – Natalie Spooner
Nurse Sarah – Blayre Turnbull – Rebecca Johnston
Jill Saulnier – Emma Maltais – Laura Stacey
Jocelyne Larocque – Renata Fast
Claire Thompson – Erin Ambrose
Micah Zander-Hart – Ashton Bell
Ann Renée Desbiens
Kendall Coyne-Schofield (C) – Hannah Brandt – Hilary Knight
Alex Carpenter – Abby Roque – Amanda Kessel
Dani Cameranesi – Kelly Pannek – Grace Zumwinkle
Hayley Scamurra – Jesse Compher – Abby Murphy
Lee Stecklein – Cayla Barnes
Megan Keller – Savannah Harmon
Jincy Dunne – Megan Bozek
Abby Roque came out of the box with some very good chances in the slot, she finished with four shots on goal in the period alone.
Fourth line Abby Murphy was all over the ice in the offensive zone this period. She stole a puck that was sent down the ice for clearance after a long stint in the defensive zone for Canada. Murphy caught everyone off guard and was able to tackle Desbiens alone. She leaned to the left, but the Canadian goaltender raised her right pad and the scorpion stopped the shot. That was not all as Fast saved a goal on the rebound as the puck squeaked between Desbiens’ pads. It was the end of a long shift in the Canadian zone as the Americans put all the pressure on.
Canada got a power play, and you knew they were going to score on it to take the lead after being outshot 4-13 to start the game. Carolina Harvey took a silly cross-check penalty and the rest is a one-goal lead:
BRIANNE JENNER!! Canada dominated the front of the net throughout the tournament thanks to [insert half the lineup], and even against the United States they managed to convert on a quick pass game in blue paint. MPP handed the puck to Sarah Fillier, who found Jenner in net.
This period had the type of scenario we talk about with the usual subject of this blog: the Toronto Maple Leafs. Winning the battle of shots is all well and good, but you can’t trade old shots with the bank for real goals. Team USA took 16 shots, Canada only five, but none scored as Canada scored. You don’t get those shots back if you’re in the United States. And while USA were pretty dominant in the offensive zone even after the goal, Canada had the upper hand after one period, and we all know how good Canada can be.
Collateral damage to start the second period when one of the referees had his face full of a Canadian stick in the middle of a scrum behind the net. She had to leave the ice with a moderately bloody towel touching her face. The match continued with the remaining three referees.
Canada just couldn’t get the puck out of the zone, they rushed and Dani Cameranesi scored on the rebound. Assist Kelly Pannek with the initial shot.
USA scores on the power play and Alex Carpenter scores on an odd run. Abby Roque again started the game with a nice movement in the neutral zone, but Kessel and Keller with the assists.
BRIANNE JENNER AGAIN AND WE ARE STILL RELATED! Canada responded immediately with a lightning-fast rushing chance started with MPP, on Sarah Nurse, who fed Jenner with a backhand to help bring Canada back to level.
JAMIE LEE RATTRAY SCORES AGAIN!!! JLR once again showed Canada that they were right to bring her back to the national program with a decisive goal on a cross pass from Natalie Spooner behind the net. Rattray was able to get enough of her stick on the puck as she went past Rooney’s right pad.
WELCOME TO THE MARIE-PHILIP POULIN SHOW! She stole a puck from American defenders and was chased in three zones on a breakaway. She was hooked as she tried to shoot, which earned her a penalty shot. Poulin came in, bit Rooney down the left and sent the puck home for his second goal in as many games.
Rattray stole another puck down the left wing and went in alone on Rooney. She nearly passed the puck on the short side, but the American goaltender stopped her. Sarah Fillier then burst out of nowhere and nearly buried the rebound, but Rooney made a great reaction save.
After an INCREDIBLE period of ice hockey, Canada came out of the second period with an extended lead. The Canadians were bombarded in the first period, only managing five shots on goal throughout the period. This period, they showed up and had 16 shots on goal, matching the 16 shots on goal of the United States.
Canada did a great job blocking the USA attack in the first half of the third period, where they didn’t allow any major chances. It was midway through the period when Roque and his second line rocked Canada, but Rattray managed to clear the puck from the zone. Rebecca Johnston went the other way, and a time after the play was ruled offside, Johnston kicked the puck to the net. She gave a pretty innocent face, but she was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Canadians killed their fourth of five penalties in the game, thanks in large part to Desbiens, but also to all the bodies in front and good sticks from the penalty killers.
Desbiens gave them five more minutes as the Americans went on 20 shots over three quarters of the third period. Canada did a good job of keeping those chances and eliminating rebounds as much as possible. The zone weather was pretty much completely in favor of the United States.
Another power play with two seconds left. Larocque blocked a few shots, Desbiens a few others and Canada defended their lead until the last minute.
The whistle sounded with 26 seconds to go and Canada still two goals up.
And time ran out as Canada won!