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Canada hangs on to top Team USA, 2-1, in latest Olympic women’s hockey battle

Canada dodged a USA rally behind goaltender Genevieve Lacasse in the group stage.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 6 - United States v Canada Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Final score: Canada 2, USA 1

Canada 2, USA 1: There were multiple good chances in the final minutes between the power play and the pulled goalie, but the U.S. was unable to get the goal it needed to force overtime. A last-second shot led to a scramble in front of the net and some fighting after the clock hit zero, but Canada came away victorious yet again in the latest edition of international hockey’s best rivalry.

There was even a lengthy review by the referees when the Americans refused to leave the ice without confirmation they didn’t score before the final buzzer, but it was deemed no goal.

What a great game, and a thrilling preview of what we hopefully see in the gold medal game a week from now.

Canada 2, USA 1: A brutal development for Team USA when Brianna Decker went to the box for cross-checking with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, but Kendall Coyne was able to draw another penalty less than a minute later to create a 4-on-4 situation. This could free up some late 6-on-4 action for the Americans if they’re unable to score in the next minute and decide to pull their goalie.

Canada 2, USA 1: A successful penalty kill by the Americans opens up an opportunity in the last five minutes of the game to force overtime. It’s going to be an intense finish to the preliminary round game in Pyeongchang.

Canada 2, USA 1: A third power play for Canada is coming after a two-minute tripping penalty on Hilary Knight. After having that last goal waved off, this is a big chance for the Canadians to extend their lead and push the game out of reach.

Canada 2, USA 1: Well, that was stressful. A potential insurance goal by Canada was waved off under review because of a kicking motion by Haley Irwin on the scoring play. It’s a close play given Irwin is stopping in front of the net as the play happens, but review shows that she clearly angled and moved her skate in order to direct the puck into the net. It’s still a one-goal game.

Canada 2, USA 1: A burst of speed by Kendall Coyne to beat icing gave the Americans a good chance to tie the game, but Genevieve Lacasse was able to hold the fort without the puck going in. It seems like the Coyne-Decker combination may be what saves the U.S. in this game if it’s able to rally from a one-goal deficit.

Canada 2, USA 1: We got a game! Just 23 seconds into the third period, Kendall Coyne gave the U.S. new life with an incredible individual effort to cut the lead in half. She’s remarkably fast, possibly the fastest women’s hockey player in the world, and squeezed through the defense before firing a five-hole shot to beat the netminder. Coyne starred in the win over Finland and now delivered one of the biggest plays of the night against Canada. Credit also goes to Brianna Decker for a stellar play to set up the goal.

Let’s go!

Second period: Canada 2, USA 0

Canada 2, USA 0: What can you even say about a period like that? Well, you could say this. Team USA held a 18-6 lead in shots on goal, yet Canada came away with the only two scores in the period. That’s the kind of process that will typically lead to strong results, but the Americans only have 20 more minutes to score at least twice to keep this game going. Luckily, if they keep attacking like they did in the second period, there’s at least a chance.

Canada 2, USA 0: A big shot on the power play by Brianna Decker bounced off the left post as part of a very good stretch for the Americans. Unfortunately, they still don’t have any goals to show for it. Genevieve Lacasse continues to look confident in net despite a 17-4 shot advantage for the U.S. in the second period.

Canada 2, USA 0: A bunch of nifty movement by Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson didn’t amount to anything as the Canadian goalie stayed at home and fought off the puck to keep it scoreless. A massive missed opportunity for the Americans when they desperately needed a goal.

Canada 2, USA 0: PENALTY SHOT!! The referees ruled that a Canadian player tried to cover the puck in the crease, which is an automatic penalty shot for the U.S. There was some discussion among the referees before confirming the decision, but it’s fair to say that this is one of the most important moments in the game.

Canada 2, USA 0: Maddie Rooney is probably going to want back that second goal by Canada, which came as a result of a sneaky shot by Sarah Nurse that bounced off the goalie’s shoulder and under the crossbar. It was a perfectly placed shot, so it’s hard to blame Rooney too much, but you never want to give up a clean goal from distance like that.

There was also some discussion on the NBCSN broadcast of a possible review for offsides, but the Americans ultimately didn’t initiate a coach’s challenge. It’s unclear why they didn’t do that. Now they’ll have to find at least two goals in order to force overtime.

Canada 1, USA 0: Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Gigi Marvin both had good chances for the Americans in a matter of seconds, but Genevieve Lacasse stood up tall to both shots to keep Canada ahead. The U.S. is still pushing for its first goal of the game despite leading 24-15 in shots on goal.

Canada 1, USA 0: Meghan Agosta finally broke through on the power play to give Canada the lead in Pyeongchang. Madison Rooney was able to get a hand on the puck, but it slipped through her for the goal. Team USA defenseman Megan Keller, who is playing in her first Olympics, was called for interference to set up the power play. The Americans will need to rally from behind now.

USA 0, Canada 0: The Americans were able to successfully kill the Canadian power play out of the intermission without any issue. In fact, Canada still doesn’t have a shot on goal over nearly four minutes into the second frame. The U.S. is keeping its pace up so far.

First period: USA 0, Canada 0

USA 0, Canada 0: A tough break for the Americans as defenseman Lee Stecklein was called for interference late in the period. Canada was unable to score during the first minute-plus of its power play, however, so the second period will begin with another 39 seconds of 5-on-4 action.

It’s been a tight game so far with the U.S. leading in shots, 14-12. If those 20 minutes were any indication, the rest of this game is going to be a thriller.

USA 0, Canada 0: A potential first goal by Canada didn’t count because the whistle was blown before the puck went into the net. There was a Canadian player in the crease, which automatically initiates a whistle from the refs in international hockey. It’s still 0-0 with a few minutes left in the first period.

USA 0, Canada 0: The Americans drew their first power play of the game on a penalty by Meghan Agosta. They had one sequence where a loose puck in front of the net presented some opportunity, but Canada also recorded two shorthanded shots on goal during the two minutes, so it’s not exactly the start Team USA was looking for with the 5-on-4 advantage.

Also, Team USA’s Gigi Marvin absolutely decked a referee, although thankfully she got right back up afterwards.

USA 0, Canada 0: A wild scramble created by a strong drive to the net by Meghan Agosta gave Canada a chance to score, but the referee blew the play dead when the puck couldn’t be located. The game remains scoreless through nine minutes of action in the first period.

USA 0, Canada 0: Hilary Knight got the first big scoring chance of the game on a breakaway resulting from a bad line change by the Canadian defense. Kendall Coyne smartly pushed the puck up the ice to Knight, which forced goalie Genevieve Lacasse to make her first tough save of the game.

USA 0, Canada 0: Both teams are playing a physical game out of the gate to try to set the tone. There’s been just one shot on goal by either team in the first three minutes as much of the action swings within the neutral zone.

USA 0, Canada 0: And we’re off in Pyeongchang!

Before the game

There’s no gold medal on the line, but the intensity will be increased all the same as Team USA faces Canada in the Olympic women’s hockey tournament Wednesday night. This is one of the marquee hockey games in Pyeongchang, so you’ll want to tune in on NBCSN or online starting at 10:10 p.m. ET.

The stakes will be relatively low for this matchup beyond the implications of a gold-medal game preview. The two teams have already clinched the top two spots in Group A, so they’re guaranteed byes to the semifinals of the playoff round. The winner will earn the top seed, but that hardly matters given the inevitability of a rematch for gold.

Still, this is USA-Canada hockey in the Olympics. That alone makes it a matchup of immense importance for everyone involved.

Both teams enter this game with unbeaten records through two games. The Americans are coming off a 5-0 win over Olympic Athletes from Russia where forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson set the Olympic record by scoring two goals in just six seconds. That came after a 3-1 win over Finland to open the tournament.

Canada also topped the Russian team, 5-0, while earning a 4-1 win over Finland. There’s little doubt at this point about which two teams will likely play in the gold-medal game on Feb. 24.

The pressure won’t be quite as high Wednesday, but expect a similar intensity level for one of the most important games of these players’ lives. USA-Canada women’s hockey is now one of the best rivalries in international sports, and you’ll definitely want to make sure not to miss it.

How to watch USA vs. Canada, 2018 Olympic women’s hockey

Time: 10:10 p.m. ET

Where: Kwandong Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea

TV: NBCSN

Live stream: NBC Olympics


The first Winter Olympics and how Canada ruled men’s hockey