CANADA FALLS IN OVERTIME IN 4 NATIONS CUP FINAL
SUNDSVALL, Sweden – Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Meghan Agosta (Vancouver, B.C.) gave Canada’s National Women’s Team a lead after two periods, but the Canadians settled for silver following a 3-2 overtime loss to the United States in Sunday’s gold medal game at the 2015 4 Nations Cup.
It’s the sixth time Canada has won silver at the tournament, along with its 14 gold medals.
The teams were back-and-forth throughout the game; the North American rivals were even in shots on goal in the first and second periods, and only one separated them in the third.
A scoreless-but-intense first period gave way to goals in the second.
Spooner needed just 64 seconds of the middle frame to open the scoring, standing in front of the U.S. net on a Canadian power play and redirected a Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) shot past American goaltender Jessie Vetter.
The U.S. answered just over five minutes later on a power play of its own, with Brianna Decker poking a loose puck past Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Harvard University, ECAC).
Agosta would restore the Team Canada lead with 5:45 left in the middle frame, finding the top corner with a rocket from the point.
The one-goal advantage would last only 1:46 of the third period, with Decker knocking in a rebound for her second goal.
A combined 21 shots in the final stanza weren’t enough to decide a winner, and the teams headed to overtime for the second year in a row in the gold medal game.
Unlike 2014, when the Canadians needed a shootout to win gold, it was over quickly; Hilary Knight got in behind the Canadian defence and beat Maschmeyer on a breakaway to give the Americans gold just 36 seconds into the extra period.
Canada’s penalty kill was very good once again, limiting the U.S. to a single goal in seven chances with the man advantage. Overall, the Canadians went 15-for-17 in the tournament while a man down.
The teams will share the ice again next at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship; they face off March 28 in Kamloops, B.C. in the preliminary round opener for both.