Winter Olympics hockey, USA vs. Canada: USA women fall 3-2 to Canada

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Americans were unable to weather the storm in the third period and fell, 3-2, to Canada on Wednesday.

SB Nation 2014 Olympics Preview

Team Canada used a dominant third period to overcome 1-0 deficit, beating the USA 3-2 in the final game of group play for women's hockey on Wednesday.

It was meaningless game in the context of the tournament itself, with both the USA and Canada already securing their spots in playoff round, yet it was clear neither team was taking the contest lightly. The first period opened up with physical play on both ends of the ice, with the USA getting two power play chances in an opening frame that saw Canada mostly control play despite being outshot 11-8 on the scoreboard.

The scoreless tie would continue late into the second period, due to the strong play by Canadian goalie Charline Labonte and USA goaltender Jessie Vetter. Canada continued to control play and it was only thanks to the play of Vetter in net that the game remained scoreless through the middle frame, who stopped several odd-man rushes and afforded her team the opportunity to use their speed and crisp passes to counter with chances of their own.

The USA would finally break through late in the second period, when forward Hilary Knight tipped a shot from distance over Labonte's shoulder to give the Americans a 1-0 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the frame. The goal would give the USA the momentum and confidence, yet Labonte stood tall under a late-period barrage.

It would take Canada just two minutes to break past Vetter, however, as Meghan Agosta buried a brilliant pass by Hayley Wickenheiser on the power play to tie the game 1-1. Canada would then take the lead on a controversial goal, when Wickenheiser slipped a puck under Vetter and into the goal only after the official's whistle had apparently blown the play dead.

The Canadians would seize all of the momentum after taking the lead, putting the USA back on their heels with a swarming offense that took all of the counterpunch away from the Americans. Team USA struggled just to get another shot on goal, until Agosta seemingly put the game away with a breakaway goal with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to give Canada a 3-1 lead.

The USA would fight back in the final minutes, with Anne Schleper getting a puck past Labonte from distance to cut the lead to 3-2. Canada was caught with too many players on the ice, yet USA could not take advantage of the late power play to tie the game late.

Team USA and Canada now head to separate brackets in the playoff rounds, and won't face each other again until the medal round. Despite four straight wins by the Americans heading into the tournament, an impressively dominant third period for Canada has put this rivalry back on even terms heading into what almost assuredly will be another Gold Medal game between the top two women's teams in the world.

More on the Winter Olympics:

SB Nation's Winter Olympics medal tracker | Meet Team USA

Team Canada's beer fridge only opens with passport | #Lookit

What you need to know about curling | Bobsled, luge and skeleton

Miracle Put on Ice: 1984 US hockey team never had a chance

Hockey: Men’s schedule | All 12 men’s rosters | USA roster analysis

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.