CANADA BEATS U.S. IN SERIES OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont.) scored a pair of goals and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) added a goal and an assist, leading Canada’s National Women’s Team to a 4-1 win over the United States on Friday in the first of two games between the long-time rivals.
The game marked the 148th meeting between the North American neighbours since 1990; Canada improved its record to 83-64-1 with the victory.
Bach needed just over six minutes to get Canada going, taking a feed from Poulin on a two-on-one and tucking a backhand around U.S. goaltender Maddie Rooney.
Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont.) doubled the advantage four minutes later, going under the arm of Rooney from the slot, but Hilary Knight batted a tipped puck past Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) before the end of the opening period.
After outshooting the U.S. 10-5 in the first period, Canada continued its offensive push early in the second and was rewarded with a pair of early goals.
Poulin was first, forcing a turnover at the Canadian blue-line and racing away to roof a backhand on a shorthanded breakaway at 4:12, and Bach got a shot through a maze of bodies and past Rooney just over two minutes later to make it a 4-1 game.
That would be it for scoring as the goaltenders closed the door the rest of the way despite a handful of power plays each way over the final 30 minutes; Desbiens made 22 saves to record the win, while Rooney stopped 19 of 23 in defeat.
The series wraps up Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.