Brianna Decker #14 and Riikka Valila #13 of Finland battle for the puck at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 19, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Trailing 1-0 after one period in its first game since winning the 2018 Olympic gold medal, the U.S. women’s ice hockey team needed all of 13 seconds in the second period to tie things up, and then it was off to the races.
Forward and 2018 gold medalist Brianna Decker netted the tying goal, and the U.S. went on to score five unanswered goals in the second period as it knocked off Finland 5-1 on Tuesday in its first game at the Four Nations Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Finland struck first in the opening period as Emma Nuutinen scored to give her team a 1-0 lead. Despite outshooting Finland 9-2 in the opening frame, Team USA was unable to break through for a goal.
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That changed quickly in the second period. Decker kickstarted the U.S. offense as she raced down and scored off the opening faceoff. U.S. defenseman Cayla Barnes gave the U.S. the lead for good minutes later as she scored to make it 2-1. Barnes, an Eastvale, California, native, plays collegiate hockey at Boston College and also was part of the U.S. team that won gold at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The scoring continued throughout the period as Team USA added tallies from forwards Hilary Knight, Sydney Brodt and Dani Cameranesi. Brodt, a North Oaks, Minnesota, native, scored a goal and assist in her first game playing in her senior national team debut.
On Wednesday, the U.S. will renew its rivalry with Canada as the two teams face off in Saskatchewan at 8 p.m. ET. This is the first time these two countries have met since the gold-medal game in PyeongChang.
The tournament, which also includes Sweden, concludes with the medal round on Saturday. Team USA is the three-time defending Four Nations Cup champion.
Ryan Williamson is a sportswriter from Minneapolis-St. Paul. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.