SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- Veteran USA star Cammi Granato scored the only goal in a shootout to lift Team USA to a 5-4 victory over Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey team on Saturday night in the Challenge Cup.
Granato was the only woman to score among 10 shooters in another in a growing series of splendidlly played matches between the two teams.
Defender Therese Brisson from Frederiction, NB tied the back-and-forth game 4-4 when she chipped her own rebound past U.S. goalie Sarah Tueting just 42 seconds into the third period. Team USA outshot Canada 14-4 in the third period, but goaltender Lesley Reddon of Fredericton, NB withstood the barrage to help Canada force the 10-minute, sudden-death overtime period.
Reddon split goaltending duties with Danielle Dube of Vancouver, while Sarah Tueting played the entire game for the Americans, including the five key saves in the shootout.
The game, the first of 12 between the top two teams in women's hockey will play as they prepare for the first-ever women's hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan next February, was played before an announced crowd of 7,306 at the E-Centre, one of the hockey venues for the 2002 Winter Games to be held in this city. The game was part of the United States Olympic Committee's Media Summit weekend.
Jayna Hefford gave Canada a 1-0 lead with the first of her three goals at 13:39 of the opening period, when she sneaked in behind the U.S. defence, took a pass from defender Therese Brisson, cut in alone on goalie Sarah Tueting and beat the U.S. netminder with a low shot. Shelley Looney evened the score for the Americans at 16:05, when she beat Dube on a wraparound. Team USA built a 3-1 lead after Jeanine Sobek and Angela Ruggiero, on the power play, scored goals just 58 seconds apart early in the second period.
But Hefford sliced the lead to one goal after she tipped Hayley Wickenheiser's slap shot from just inside the Americans blue line at 8:22 of the middle period. Then Hefford tied the score 3-3 during while Canada was killing a penalty when she intercepted a U.S. pass at the Team Canada blue line, fought off a check by a U.S. defender as she skated in on Tueting, and chipped a shot high over the goaltender's shoulder at 12:49.
Team USA re-established a one-goal lead during another USA power play at 17:00 of the second period. On that one, veteran U.S. star Cammi Granato fed a perfect cross-crease pass toTricia Dunn, who snapped the pass in one motion past goaltender Lesley Reddon, who replaced Dube midway through the second period.
The series between Canada and the United States continues on Nov. 7 when the teams face each other in Bathurst, NB. The teams meet again on Nov. 8 in Saint John, NB and again on Nov. 10 in Kitchener, ON, where Canada defeated the United States 4-3 in overtime on to win their fourth consecutive Women's World Hockey Championship.
1. Canada, Hefford (Brisson, Wickenheiser) 13:39
2. USA, Looney 16:05
PENALTY -- Bailey USA (body checking) 9:04..
3. USA, Sobek (Mounsey) 4:31
4. USA, Ruggiero (Merz, Bye) 5:28 pp
5. Canada, Hefford (Wickenheiser, Schuler) 8:22
6. Canada, Hefford 12:49 sh
7. USA, Dunn (Granato, Ruggiero) 17:00 pp
PENALTIES -- Brown-Miller USA (body checking) 3:03, Dupuis Can (interference) 3:40, Smith Can (interference) 4:58, Bye USA (hooking) 8:02, Dupuis Can (slashing) 12:09, Ruggiero USA (charging, Smith Can (crosschecking) 13:25; Sunohara Can (crosschecking) 16:06.
8. Canada, Brisson 0:42
PENALTIES -- None.
Penalties -- Merz USA (body checking) 7:20, Bye USA (slashing) 8:11
9. USA, Granato
Shots on goal by:
Canada: Dube (15/12); Reddon (22/20)
USA: Tueting (29/25);