2009 IIHF Women's World Championship

United States 4 - Canada 1


by Donna Spencer

HÄMEENLINNA, Finland – The U.S. won its second straight women's world hockey championship with a 4-1 win over Canada on Sunday.
The Americans have won back-to-back titles for the first time after beating Canada 4-3 in last year's final in Harbin, China.
The Americans are 4-2 versus their archrival in their last six games and are 3-0 in finals of their last three international tournaments.
Defenceman Caitlin Cahow scored a pair of goals and Meghan Duggan also scored for the U.S. Hilary Knight added an empty-net goal.
Winnipeg's Jennifer Botterill replied for Canada in front of 3,046 at Patria Arena. Charline Labonté of Boisbriand, Que., made her first start in a world championship final and stopped 25 shots, while U.S. counterpart Jessie Vetter made 39 saves.

» IIHF Stats » » Game Notes (.pdf)

The U.S. lost 2-1 to Canada in Friday's playoff game on little rest as they'd beaten Finland the previous night. The Americans shifted into a higher gear after a day's recovery Saturday and the Canadians were unprepared for the change of pace in the first period.
The U.S. spent much of Friday's game shorthanded, but didn't have a player in the penalty box for the first 40 minutes Sunday.
Cahow scored the Americans' third goal on their second power play of the game with Canadian Sarah Vaillancourt serving a slashing minor. Cahow beat Labonté five-hole from the slot at 7:09 of the third on a feed from U.S. captain Natalie Darwitz.

After falling behind 1-0 after the first period, Canada wrested some momentum back with Botterill's goal at 5:11 in the second period. But Duggan put the U.S. up a goal again at 10:10. Duggan, who was robbed in the first period of Friday's game by Labonté, battled with Canadian defenceman Colleen Sostorics but got a wrist shot over Labonté's glove to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. Botterill beat Vetter low stick side on a feed from Caroline Ouellette, with Jayna Hefford providing the screen.

The U.S. scored on their first shift of the game. Jenny Potter found Cahow on the edge of Canada's crease and the defenceman backhanded the puck over Labonté's pad 24 seconds after the opening face-off. Canadian defenceman Carla MacLeod went down to smother Potter's pass with her body and appeared to be injured as she slid into the end boards. She hobbled to the bench but was back on the ice a few shifts later.
The Americans' speed took time and space away from Canada in all three zones of the ice. A Canadian puck carrier on the offensive boards often had two Americans collapsing onto her.

U.S. pressure forced Canada into low percentage passes and the Canadians turned the puck over in their own end and the neutral zone.
Host Finland won the bronze medal for the ninth time in the tournament's history with a 4-1 win over Sweden in front of 3,027 spectators.
The sparse women's international hockey calendar traditionally consists of the world championships, the annual Four Nations Cup involving the top four countries and a European Cup.

But the women's hockey train will pick up steam heading into the Olympics as teams prepae for their sport's showcase event. Canada and the U.S. have scheduled six exhibition games against each other next winter. In addition to the Four Nations Cup in Finland, an Olympic test event will be held in Vancouver starting Aug. 31. The Hockey Canada Cup will feature Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Finland.
While Finland and Sweden posted upsets over the U.S. and Canada respectively in 2008, the top two countries re-established the gap between themselves and the Scandinavians at these world championships.

Finland didn't score a goal against either team and was outscored a combined 15-0. Canada blanked the Swedes 7-0 in the preliminary round. Switzerland and Russia, who have finished top four in the past, continue to sit in the bottom half of the field. So Canada and the U.S. remain well in front in the race for Olympic gold in Vancouver next February. A world championship isn't held in an Olympic year. The 2011 tournament, in a location to be announced, will be reduced to an eight-team tournament instead of the nine-team format here. Total attendance at this year's championship was 28,614.


Game Information/Reseignements sur le match
Event/Événement 2009 World Women's Champ. Location/Emplacement Hameenlinna, FIN
Date Sun. Apr. 12, 2009 Arena/Aréna Arena 1
Time/Heure 12:00 pm ET Attendance/Assistance -,---
Round/Ronde Gold Medal Game # 20

Box Score/Compte

First Period/Première période

Goals/Buts :
00:24 USA Caitlin Cahow (Hilary Knight, Jenny Potter)

Penalties/Pénalités :
10:57 CAN Becky Kellar (Roughing/Rudesse)

Second Period/Deuxième période

Goals/Buts :
05:11 CAN Jennifer Botterill (Caroline Ouellette, Jayna Hefford)
10:10 USA Meghan Duggan (Jocelyne Lamoureux)

Penalties/Pénalités :

Third Period/Troisième période

Goals/Buts :
07:09 USA Caitlin Cahow (Natalie Darwitz, Gigi Marvin) PP/AN
19:51 USA Hilary Knight (Julie Chu) EN/FD

Penalties/Pénalités :
06:24 CAN Sarah Vaillancourt (Slashing/Coup de baton)

Goaltenders USA Jessie Vetter
Gardiens de but CAN Charline Labonté

Shots on Goal Team 1 p 2 p 3 p Ttl
Shots on Goal USA 10 12 7 29
Tirs au but CAN 14 12 14 40

Referee/Arbitre Aina Hove (NOR)
Linesmen/Juges des lignes Anne Sophie Boniface (FRA), Malene Skovbakke (DEN)

pre game feature :


by Donna Spencer

HÄMEENLINNA, Finland – These are the games that show women's hockey can be competitive and entertaining.
Canadian head coach Melody Davidson hopes people see that when Canada and defending champion U.S. meet for gold at the women's world hockey championship Sunday (TSN, noon ET).

While this world championship was rife with lopsided scores, Canada's 2-1 win over the Americans in Friday's playoff game was a thriller.
Predicting the outcome Sunday's Round 2 is a coin toss and Davidson wants those who think women's hockey isn't competitive to see that.

“I feel like the more people we can get watching the game, the more fans we're going to get,” she said. “Lopsided scores are in every sport and every sex. Sometimes the women get singled out. I'm not sure why, but we have to be able to put on a good showcase when we get that opportunity. “We were talking as a team that it doesn't matter who is sitting in the stands, we've got to remember who is sitting at home and watching it on TV and cheering for us. That's our crowd. “Any young girl who plays the game should be sitting and watching it because it's exciting and should give them something to strive for.”

Friday's result between Canada (4-0) and the U.S. (3-1) meant nothing in the standings, but both countries played like it did. “Dress rehearsal, my ass,” Davidson laughed. “Any time we play, Canada-U.S., it's big.” A gold medal, and bragging rights heading into next year's Olympics in Vancouver, make for high stakes Sunday. “The winner is going to walk away with a trophy,” U.S. coach Mark Johnson said. “I think that puts a whole new perspective on the game.”

The U.S. played almost 18 minutes shorthanded Friday, and its penalty trouble was partly due to fatigue from playing the previous night against Finland. Killing penalties drained them for the power-play and they were unable to finish two 5-on-3 chances. But the Americans got their day of rest Saturday along with Canada and aim to win consecutive world titles for the first time. “We have to come out with more energy and staying out of the box would help,” U.S. captain Natalie Darwitz said. Charline Labonté of Boisbriand, Que., gets her second consecutive start against the U.S. after a 22-save performance Friday. Labonté's spectacular save midway through the first period preserved a scoreless draw until the second period when Jennifer Botterill and Caroline Ouellette scored.

It's the first time the 26-year-old will start a world championship final, although she played 19 minutes of shutout hockey in relief of Kim St. Pierre in last year's final in Harbin, China. Johnson is expected to start goaltender Jessie Vetter, winner of her last three starts against Canada. The Patty Kazmaier Award winner as the top player in NCAA women's hockey would be well rested as Molly Schaus took the loss Friday. Montreal forward Caroline Ouellette is an assistant coach at Minnesota-Duluth and knows what Wisconsin's Vetter can do.

“She's going to make the first save so you have to get to rebounds,” Ouellette said. “You have to get in front of her so she can't see the puck.
“We did get a lot of shots yesterday, but we talked about needing to be better having bodies going to the net for rebounds and screening the goalie, so it's one of our goals for tomorrow.”

While the U.S. took the majority of penalties Friday, Canada wasn't exempt from stints in the penalty box. Canada's penalty killers blocked shots and clogged the shooting lanes in front of Labonté. They'll have to do so again if Norwegian referee Aina Hove is in an unforgiving mood.
“Who knows what the officiating is going to be like, but that could really turn the game as well,” Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser said. “So no matter what comes out of that we're going to have to be prepared to handle anything that comes our way.”

Canada is 9-2 versus the U.S. in the previous 11 world finals and six of those games were decided by two goals or less. The Canadians lost back-to-back games to the U.S. at the world championships last year for the first time and also lost in a shootout in the Four Nations Cup final in November. Canada is 2-3 in its last five games against the U.S. While the entire American team skated Saturday at Patria Arena, the Canadians held an optional skate. Less than half the team was on the ice and the rest played hallway soccer. “We're relaxed and confident, but we're kind of on the edge a little bit because we know that yesterday really meant nothing,” Wickenheiser said. “They're going to come out hard against us tomorrow and have something to prove and so do we from last year.”

The decision to not have everyone skate wasn't one Davidson made lightly. “There's always the fear as a coach that if you take your foot off the pedal, you'll lose the momentum you've gained,” she explained. “We talked about it this morning, that it is a mental break and you're doing some different things.“But what we want to do tomorrow, we can't change the approach we've taken every day here.” After outscoring the rest of the nine-country field by a combined 51-1 margin here, Canada and the U.S. relish the suspense of games between them. “Every game has its own story,” Johnson said. “You don't know what it's going to be.”

Notes: Wickenheiser needs three points to become the first to a career 300 points on the national team ... Canada is 8-3-1-3 all time in world championship games versus the U.S. ... The specialty cable channel Universal Sports Television will broadcast the final in the U.S. ... The average age of the U.S. is 23 years four months, while Canada's is 24 years 11 months ... Canada's average height and weight is five feet 7.5 inches and 154 pounds compared to the U.S. at five-foot-seven and 155 pounds.

For more information:
Kalli Quinn Director, Female National Teams | Équipes nationales féminines