WINNIPEG, MB - Canada's National Women's Hockey Team lost to Team USA 5-3 on Sunday, in Winnipeg, MB at the MTS Centre in the last pre-Olympic exhibition game between the two teams.
With the defeat, Canada finishes its pre-Olympic international schedule with an overall record of 19-2-0, and 8-2-0 versus Team USA.
Team USA opened the scoring just 21 seconds into the game as USA captain Krissy Wendell capitalized on a feed from teammate Natalie Darwitz who was planted behind the Canadian net.
Canada responded with a power play goal three minutes later when forward Gina Kingsbury hammered home a rebound during a goal mouth scramble. But USA regained its one goal lead when Katie King was able to squeeze one short side on Canadian goalie Charline Labonte at 5:44 of the first to give USA a 2-1 lead after the first period.
After a disallowed goal that Canada had appeared to have scored, Danielle Goyette did score moments after on the power play set up by Gina Kingsbury and Hayley Wickenheiser, each with their second points of the night.
With the game tied up at 2-2 heading into the third, both teams were feeding off the near capacity crowd of 12,628.
Team USA took a 3-2 lead on a goal by Jenny Potter at 14:23. But Canada was able to tie things up when defenseman Cheryl Pounder scored her first goal of the season at 10:28.
But Team USA took the lead for good at 14:07, as Kristin King put a rebound past Labonte. Krissy Wendell added an insurance marker to make the final 5-3.
Team Canada will fly back to Calgary Monday, January 2nd to continue its preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy in February, 2006.
Canada will open up its Olympic round robin schedule against the host nation Italy on February 11 at 14:30 ET