Patrick Donnelly, Associated Press
5 hours ago
USA forward Alex Carpenter (25) races to the puck ahead of Canada forward Jesse Eldridge (9) in the second period of a women's Rivalry Series hockey game on Sunday, February 11, 2024 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
street. Paul, Minnesota. (AP) – Natalie Spooner and Emma Maltese each scored twice, Anne-Renee DeBiens made 24 saves and Canada beat the United States 6-1 on Sunday in the deciding Game 7 of the rivalry series.
Marie-Philip Poulin and Ashton Bell also scored for Canada and Sarah Nurse added three assists. It's the second straight rivalry series in which the United States has won the first three games, but Canada has come back strong to win four straight games.
“I think it shows how committed we are to our style, even when we are down and facing adversity,” Maltese said. “I think today he showed a lot of character and we will keep moving forward.”
The series began in November with two victories for the United States in Tempe, Arizona, and Los Angeles. The two teams split two games in Ontario in December, with Canada winning the fourth game on penalties. Then Canada won two in a row last week in Saskatchewan.
“Canada-USA matches are always exciting games and games to wake up to,” Spooner said. “Obviously, knowing we were at the bottom of the series, every game was do or die for us. Game 7, it was like our gold medal game, the Super Bowl, so we were excited for the game.”
Grace Zumwinkel scored for the Americans. Nicole Hensley stopped 10 of 13 shots before being replaced midway through the game by Abby Levy, who made six saves.
“I didn't feel like the moment had swung our way once. But we've got to gain that momentum and I don't think we've done that,” American veteran Kendall Quinn Schofield said. “Any time you wear the red, white and blue, you have to perform better. “
Canada opened the scoring on its first power play. Spooner's shot was stopped by Hensley and he made a huge save at the left post to deny Brian Jenner the rebound. But Hensley failed to cover the ball and Spooner, in a crowd in front of the net, pushed it home at 12:06 of the first period. It was the second goal in two games for Spooner, who leads the PWHL with seven goals.
The Americans suffered a big loss in the first period when star forward Taylor Hayes exited the game with an upper-body injury suffered while breaking up a Canadian scoring chance. Heise was able to skate on the ice but did not return.
“It's going to be tough,” USA head coach John Wroblewski said. “You lost your (first line center), the power play catalyst for our No. 1 unit. He certainly had a factor on our special teams.”
Poulin made it 2-0 less than a minute into the second period as the Canadiens converted their second game in a row. The Canada captain took a pass at the top of the left circle and sent a wrist shot over Hensley's shoulder for her first goal of the series.
Midway through the second half, Maltese got onto a loose ball in the US box and found Bale trailing in the high slot. Bale scored from the pass to make the score 3-0.
Zumwinkel took advantage of Debian's only mistake and scored a short-handed goal. Debians skated out of her net to try to clear the puck, but Zumwinkel blocked the pass and won the race to the empty net.
Spooner got the lead back to three shortly after the power play ended, beating Levy with a wrist shot from the slot to make it 4-1 late in the second. Maltese scored in the third period.
The teams will next meet in the IIHF Women's World Championship, scheduled for April 3-14 in Utica, New York. The United States will defend the title it won last year after losing a 3-0 lead in the rivalry series. Zumwinkel noticed the similarity and hoped that the pattern would repeat itself.
“Getting the same result last year, then winning gold at the world championships last year, is the writing on the wall, and hopefully we can get a better result next time,” Zumwinkel said.
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