CANADA BEATS U.S. AT 4 NATIONS CUP
VIERUMÄKI, Finland – Haley Irwin’s (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) power play goal six minutes into the third period lifted Canada’s National Women’s Team to a 3-2 win over the United States at the 2016 4 Nations Cup on Friday.
After two shots from Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) and one from Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) were saved, Irwin beat American goaltender Alex Rigsby from in close.
Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Hockey Canada) and Sarah Davis (Paradise, N.L./Calgary, CWHL) – with her first-ever goal for the national team – also scored for Canada.
Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) made 30 saves for her second win of the tournament.
The win ended Canada’s six-game losing streak to its biggest rival. The key was the team’s ability to respond quickly.
Only 13 seconds after the opening face-off, Kendall Coyne finished off a give-and-go with Hilary Knight for the game’s first goal.
A mere 27 seconds later Canada answered. Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) sent a slap pass from the blue-line down low to Agosta, who turned and tied the game. The goal was the first one surrendered by the Americans in the tournament.
The United States retook the lead just past the midway mark of the second period. Lacasse made a nice save on Kelli Stack in tight but couldn’t squeeze the rebound, allowing Amanda Pelkey to score.
Again, Canada replied quickly, this time two minutes later. Jessica Campbell (Rocanville, Sask./Calgary, CWHL) skated out of her zone up along the side boards and found Davis with a centering pass through three defenders.
The Canadian penalty kill continued to come up big. After not conceding a goal on eight American power play opportunities on Friday, it’s now 15/15 for the event.
Canada finished the preliminary round with a perfect 3-0 mark and improved its overall record against the United States at the event to 28-12-1. The two teams meet again on Saturday in the gold medal game (11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT).