The opening installment of the 2019 Rivalry Series between the U.S. and Canada women’s ice hockey teams goes to the red, white and blue.
The U.S. women defeated their northern rivals 1-0 on Tuesday night in London, Ontario, in the first of three meetings in the series.
After a scoreless first period it looked as if the two teams might also go into the second intermission without a goal.
In the waning minutes, however, with Hannah Brandt creating a screen, defenseman Savannah Harmon took a shot from the left point. The rebound caromed out to the right to where Hilary Knight was charging the net, and she buried it for a 1-0 lead and what ended up being the game-winning goal.
Alex Rigsby made 33 saves in the shutout for Team USA. Rigsby, Knight and Brandt are among 14 Olympic gold medalists on the U.S. roster.
“This game was a battle for a full 60 minutes with both sides having great chances and great goaltending,” U.S. coach Bob Corkum said. “The intensity of the rivalry was definitely on display here tonight, and we will look forward to building on this momentum Thursday in Toronto.”
The Rivalry Series continues on Thursday in Toronto and wraps up Sunday in Detroit. Sunday’s game at Little Caesars Arena is part of Hockey Week Across America.
Tuesday’s game was the first matchup between the two teams since the Four Nations Cup in November 2018. The U.S. beat Canada to take home the gold at that tournament, just as it did at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 just shy of one year ago.
The U.S. and Canada have met in every gold-medal game of the Olympics, world championship and Four Nations Cup tournaments dating back to 2014, with the U.S. winning the last eight of 10 championship meetings. The Americans lost at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and the Four Nations Cup 2014 in overtime but have won everything since.
The next women’s world championship tournament will take place April 4-14 in Espoo, Finland.