United States shuts out Canada in gold medal game of 4 Nations Cup

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United States shuts out Canada in gold medal game of 4 Nations Cup
Photo courtesy of USA Hockey

Having lost in the gold medal game of the 2011 4 Nations Cup in Nykoping, Sweden, Canada was looking to avenge its loss in Tikkurila, Finland. The Nov. 10 contest continued the eternal rivalry between Canada and the United States in women’s ice hockey.

Both teams entered the match with a lot of momentum. In the final game of the round robin portion, Canada bested Sweden by a 9-0 rally. The United States was equally impressive as it trounced Finland by a 15-1 tally, including four-goal performances by Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight.

Despite a penalty being called on United States goaltender Jessie Vetter for delay of game at the 11:35 mark of the opening period, the United States took advantage, rather than Canada.

Northeastern Huskies phenom Kendall Coyne would score a short-handed goal on Canadian backstop Charline Labonte to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Although the U.S. would have two more penalties in the period (Hilary Knight for roughing at 15:19, and Jocelyne Lamoureux for roughing at 19:46), Canada did not score in the period.

In fact, the Canadians were outshot 12-1.

While the second stanza found Canada outshot the U.S. by an 8-4 count, they could not find the answer to Jessie Vetter. Canada had three power-play opportunities in the second and were unable to capitalize on any of the opportunities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. was able to benefit from its only power-play opportunity. With a kneeing penalty to Tara Watchorn at the 12:57 mark, it was Knight who extended the lead to a 2-0 count. Assists went to Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, and her sister Jocelyne.

Special teams continued to haunt Canada in the final frame of the contest. Hayley Wickenheiser was called for a roughing penalty at 14:44. Once again, the U.S. would not let the opportunity pass, as Anne Schleper scored on the power play to provide the U.S. with an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Jocelyne Lamoureux would earn her second point of the contest as she assisted on Schleper’s marker.

Although the U.S. was outshot 9-6 in the final frame, Vetter was the story of the contest. The all-time leader in shutouts in NCAA history, Vetter was a stone wall versus a beleaguered Canadian squad. 

The next international competition in senior women’s hockey will take place at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Ottawa, Ontario, starting April 2.

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