By Gary R. Blockus | Oct. 25, 2017, 10:34 p.m. (ET)
Nicole Hensley defends a shot on goal from Amy Potomak of Canada during the second period at Agganis Arena on Oct. 25, 2017 in Boston.

 

Canada scored three goals in the second period, including one with 15 seconds left, to defeat the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team 5-1 Wednesday night at Boston University’s Agganis Arena to open The Time Is Now Tour, sponsored by Toyota.

Team USA had beaten Canada 5-2 in in Quebec City last Sunday as the teams opened a series of games in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Emily Pfalzer, a Boston College graduate making her return to Beantown, tied the game at 1 for Team USA almost four minutes after Canada jumped on top on the strength of Natalie Spooner’s goal 7:08 into the game that beat U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley.

Pfalzer blasted a shot and then followed up on the rebound to jam it home past Canada goalie Genevieve Lacasse with 9:05 left in the opening period, but that was as close as the Americans got.

The teams went into the first intermission tied at 1 despite Team USA holding a 17-8 edge in shots on goal. Team USA went scoreless on three first-period power plays while Canada went 0-2. Team USA went 0-for-9 on the power play for the game despite outshooting Canada 38-23.

Canada regained the lead at 2-1 on a short-handed goal by Laura Fortino at 4:52 of the second period off a feed from Jillian Saulnier, which came on Canada’s first shot of the period.

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Spooner scored her second goal of the game, this one an even strength goal with 2:26 left in the second period, and Meghan Acosta added another with 15 seconds left in the frame for a 4-1 lead heading into the third period, when Alex Rigsby took over in the net for Team USA.

Marie-Philip Poulin added another Canadian goal with 4:56 left in the game.

The Time Is Now Tour continues with the Four Nations Cup Nov. 7-12 at Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, Florida against Canada, Finland and Sweden, with a rematch against Canada Nov. 8, plus the possibility of another meeting in the medal round in Tampa.

Canada and Team USA will meet again on Dec. 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota and Dec. 15 in San Jose, California. They are scheduled to meet in Olympic competition on Feb. 15.

While the U.S. has won the last four world championships, Canada is the four-time reigning Olympic champion. After winning three silvers and a bronze in Olympic play, Team USA is seeking its first gold since the sport’s debut 20 years ago.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.