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U.S. Women Down Finland At Ice Hockey World Championship

By Craig Bohnert | March 29, 2016, 11:37 p.m. (ET)

Hilary Knight celebrates a goal during the U.S.-Finland game at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship on March 29, 2016 in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The United States women’s ice hockey team improved its record to 2-0 in group play at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Kamloops, British Columbia, Tuesday evening, defeating Finland 2-1.

Less than 24 hours after defeating archrival Canada 3-1, the Americans returned to the ice at the Sandman Centre, this time with two-time Olympic veteran Jessie Vetter in goal. The Finns jumped on top early when Michelle Karvinen scored five minutes into the match, but two-time Olympian Hilary Knight scored an equalizer with less than a minute to go in the period to make the score 1-1 at the first intermission. The goal moved Knight into sole possession of third place for career goals by a U.S. player at the world championships with 28, only one behind Natalie Darwitz for second on the all-time list.

“It was obviously a tough start, going down 1-0, but we came back and found a way to win,” said Kendall Coyne, an Olympic silver medalist and recipient of the 2016 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the top collegiate women’s player.

“There are no excuses for the tough start that we had, but we played an emotional game last night against Canada,” the Northeastern University product said. “It was a quick turnaround, but we need to find a way to be better when the starting puck drops. We got better as the game went on. Going into the second and third period I think everyone found a way to pick each other up. It was a great team win.”

After the first intermission, the U.S. quickened its offensive pace, peppering Finland goalkeeper Meeri Raisanen with eight shots in the first five minutes and 20 total in the second period. One off the stick of Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson found the net to put the reigning world champions up 2-1 with five minutes left in the second stanza.

While the American offense generated 51 shots for the game, its defense was equally stout, permitting the Fins only seven attempts at goal. Both teams were efficient in penalty killing, with Finland surviving five U.S. power plays while the United States was unable to convert on its one opportunity.

The victory puts the United States atop the Group A table with six points with their final game in group play scheduled for Thursday against Russia. The U.S. now has 14 wins over Finland in world championship play against only two losses. 

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Kendall Coyne

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