SKÖVDE, SWEDEN -- The 2003 4 Nations Cup finished with a classic tilt between women’s hockey two ‘superpowers’ Canada and the USA, with Team USA beating Canada by the score of 2-1 after 22 shots, 11 on each side, were taken in a sudden-death shoot out that decided the outcome of the game. USA’s veteran Cammi Granato was the only player to score in the shoot-out, scoring both of USA’s goals, to give USA the victory.
The two teams faced off twice at this 4 Nations Cup event, with USA winning both games (2-0 and 2-1 in shootout). These games were the first times that Canada and the USA have met since the 2003 Four Nations Cup, which Canada captured.
Unlike IIHF regulations, the 4 Nations Cup tournament format called for a sudden death shootout after 3 periods of regulation play and 5 minutes of overtime, which meant pressure right from the start for both teams.
The shootout went 11 rounds, which had spectacular saves by both goaltenders and a goalpost hit by each side, before Cammi Granato of the USA beat Charline Labonté on a deke to give the U.S. their second Nations Cup victory, and 2nd victory in six shootout games against Canada.
The best chance in the opening ten minutes of the 1st period came as Canada’s Colleen Sostorics moved in from the point along the boards, managing to beat a U.S. defender in close to get in alone on U.S. goaltender Pam Dreyer, but Dreyer was up to the challenge and the game remained scoreless. At the other end of the ice in the 1st period, Canada’s goaltender Charline Labonté came up with a great save on Kristin King from the slot.
Canada scored first at 14:01 of the 1st period, thanks to some great forechecking which led to Jayna Hefford setting up Caroline Ouellette in front, who beat Dreyer between the pads.
USA tied the score at 1-1 midway through the middle frame, during a power play. Labonté made the initial save but the puck found its way onto Cammi Granato’s stick in the crease and the veteran scored. Granato came close to putting USA on top two minutes later, but Labonté made a great pad save to keep score 1-1 through forty minutes.
Canada carried the play for the entire five-minute overtime but their numerous chances didn’t translate into the winning goal, and both teams were off the sudden death shootout.
Canada’s players and staff will be traveling all day on Monday, November 10th, scheduled to arrive as a group in Toronto, ON at 3:35 pm (Eastern) on Air Canada flight 857, although a number of the players and staff will then be connecting to their final destinations.