USA “took their misery” to bed after a 5-1 loss to rivals Canada

'We can't let them push us around like they did tonight'

Before Thursday, Canada hadn’t beaten the United States in regulation at the IIHF Women’s World championships since 2009. The only other time since then was the 2012 OT shootout in Burlington, Vermont. Perhaps nobody told the recent Hockey Canada team that, because they dominated the United States on Thursday night.

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Canada scored two goals in the first period and another three in the second frame. USA pulled starting goaltender Alex Cavallini after the fourth goal. In some ways it was a stunning game, especially with all the recent conversations surrounding Hilary Knight passing Cammi Granato for the IIHF women’s worlds goal scoring title. Not to mention in context of the USA winning the 2019 Worlds one year after capturing gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

That said, this is the United States vs Canada! This is the spiciest rivalry I’ve ever seen since the old USA vs Australia rivalries in international basketball.

Canada, too, was undefeated coming into the match and was nearly as dominant in Group A. Lee Stecklein’s goal in the third period was only the fifth the Canadian defense allowed in three games. There isn’t much more you can ask Canada to do after this game … but when have you known me to not nitpick?

It’s the power play, for both sides. If the U.S. had converted a few times it’s a much closer game. If Canada had converted a few times, we’re talking a “Finish Him” level of dominance in this game. Apparently, Joel Johnson doesn’t like to overthink the power play for elite level competitions.

“I think power plays are overrated in a short-term tournament … you can have a great power play all year long and then you get to the highest level and all of a sudden penalty kills can match a power play. I’m not gonna overthink the power play”

USA head coach Joel Johnson Tuesday night

I hear what he’s saying about elite penalty killing, but if your team can’t convert with an advantage at the highest level, I have questions. On the other hand al least they didn’t give up a power play goal. Neither did Canada but Sarah Nurse did score a short handed goal!

This was a big win for Canada, but neither team is taking this result as absolute! USA is going to “take their misery to bed” and move on. Canada now knows what they can do sans captain Marie Philip Poulin, so there are no excuses moving forward. They will need this and more to win gold on home soil … err, ice!

“We can’t let them push us around like they did tonight. We have to dictate the play,” Stecklein told me when I asked how USA can change from a defensive and physicality perspective.

I for one cannot wait to see how it all ends!

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Week in Women’s Hockey


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Must-Click Links

Here is deeper look from the USA perspective after their 5-1 loss by yours truly!

Hilary Knight sits atop the Women’s Worlds history books!

Fillier find her footing in Hockey Canada system.

Get to know Abbey Roque.

A great look into the career of Ann-Renée Desbiens by Kristina Rutherford.

Speaking of data, Alyssa Longmuir crunches the numbers to project who’s taking home gold in Calgary.

Meet recent high school graduate and USA Hockey forward Caroline Harvey.

Alina Muller out for remainder of tournament.

Alison Lukan joined Locked on Kraken.

Speaking of data, Alyssa Longmuir crunches the numbers to project who’s taking home gold in Calgary.

Meet recent high school graduate and USA Hockey forward Caroline Harvey

Alina Muller out for remainder of tournament

The PWHPA announces first Dream Gap Tour dates for 2021-22. Watch the announcement here.

Finland get first win, didn’t see them struggling this much.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Jamie Lee Rattray & Ann Renée Desbiens

Rattray scored two goals and Desbiens stopped 22 pucks to get the 5-1 victory. Here is the postgame press conference. After the players take questions in French, head coach Troy Ryan speaks to the media.

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Written by Erica L. Ayala