CANADA EDGES U.S., EVENS RIVALRY SERIES
JASON LA ROSE
TORONTO, Ont. – Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) and Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Markham, CWHL) led the way with a goal and an assist each, and Canada’s National Women’s Team held off a late push to edge the United States 4-3 on Thursday night and square up the Rivalry Series at a win apiece.
The teams split the two games on Canadian ice (the U.S. earned a 1-0 win Tuesday in London, Ont.), and will face off Sunday (12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT) in the rubber match in Detroit, Mich.
Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Markham, CWHL) added a pair of assists for the Canadians, who netted a pair of power-play goals in a busy first period to take a lead they would not relinquish.
After combining for just a single goal in the series opener, both teams exploded offensively in the opening 20 minutes in Game 2 – there were five goals scored in just over 12 minutes.
Alex Carpenter got it started just past the seven-minute mark, beating Canadian goaltender Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) over the glove for a power-play goal, but Stacey set up Poulin to make it 1-1 only 1:44 later.
The U.S. took its second lead at 10:30 when Hannah Brandt knocked a bouncing puck past Lacasse, but Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Markham, CWHL) got a quick shot through traffic on the power play to pull the Canadians even again less than three minutes later.
Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) put Canada ahead for good in the final minute of the opening period with another man-advantage marker, poking a shot through U.S. netminder Katie Burt to make it 3-2 after one.
The American penalty-kill was the story of a goalless second period; Canada had eight minutes of power-play time in the middle frame, including almost six-consecutive minutes, but couldn’t add to its lead.
Rattray finally put a fourth puck past Burt seven minutes into the third period off another pretty Stacey feed, and that turned into the game-winning goal when Brianna Decker scored for the Americans midway through the final frame.
Lacasse stood tall in the third with 14 saves, none bigger than a sprawling stop off Hilary Knight with just over a minute to go. She finished with 24 saves in her first international start since beating the U.S. 2-1 in the preliminary round at the Olympics last February.
Despite being outshot 15-7 in the third period, Canada had a 30-27 edge in shots on goal overall.