CANADA FALLS IN OT, TAKES SILVER AT WOMEN’S WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) tied the game midway through the third period, but Canada’s National Women’s Team came up one goal short on Friday night, falling 3-2 in overtime to the United States in the gold medal game at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
It is the second year in a row the Canadians have lost in extra time to the U.S. in the final; they suffered a 1-0 defeat on home ice in Kamloops, B.C., last April.
Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.) scored the other Canadian goal in support of goaltender Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Fort Saskatchewan, CHL), who was spectacular again in a 37-save performance.
The Canadians were shut out 2-0 by the U.S. in the preliminary-round meeting between the teams last Friday, but Agosta needed just 61 seconds to ensure they wouldn’t be blanked again, taking a feed from Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE) and picking the top corner over the glove of U.S. netminder Nicole Hensley.
Kacey Bellamy answered for the Americans at 4:34, beating Szabados with a wrist shot through a screen.
That would be it for scoring in the first 40 minutes, with Szabados and Hensley combining for 35 saves and Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) hitting the post late in the second period to keep the game tied after two.
Bellamy needed just 42 seconds of the third period to give the U.S. its first lead, finishing a beautiful behind-the-back, no-look pass from Hilary Knight to make it 2-1.
Jenner forced overtime with a power-play marker at 9:44, squeezing a shot past the pad of an outstretched Hensley. Originally waved off, the goal was confirmed after a video review, eventually forcing an extra period.
Canada continued its strong penalty kill early in overtime after Wakefield was sent off for interference, but Knight ended it at 10:17, wiring a slap shot off the cross-bar and past Szabados for the gold-medal winner.
The Americans, who came into the game with the best power play in the tournament, finished goalless in five chances and generated just five shots on goal with the man advantage.
Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) finished as Canada’s leading scorer with two goals and four assists in five games; the Canadian captain was rewarded for her play with a spot on the media all-star team.