There was little daylight between the U.S. women’s ice hockey team and Canada Monday night in Game 3 of their Rivalry Series, but Canada’s Victoria Bach found just enough to sneak an overtime game-winner past Team USA’s Nicole Hensley to score Canada’s first win of the series.
The U.S. will have another chance Wednesday to claim the series for the second year in a row, having won the first two games in the 2019-20 series with two remaining.
Shots were at a premium in a physical, exciting game that featured some outstanding goaltending. Hensley performed well in her first start in net since a 5–0 shutout of Olympic Athletes from Russia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, at which Team USA ultimately won the gold medal.
After a scoreless first period, it was logical that it took a special teams goal to break the deadlock between the two rivals. But it was of the shorthanded variety as Canada’s Brianne Jenner jumped on a loose puck in the second period and turned it into a breakaway, beating Hensley to open up a 1-0 lead.
But Team USA came back just minutes later on another power play, this time converting on a rocket of a shot from Hilary Knight that snuck under the crossbar of Ann-Renee Desbiens. The goal was the 200th point in the decorated Team USA career of Knight, who made her first appearance for the national team at the 2006 Four Nations Cup.
Defenseman Savannah Harmon picked a fine time to score her first goal with the national team, burying a goal in front of the net in the third period to give Team USA a 2-1 lead. The U.S. power-play was then tested, and killed off a two-man advantage later in the period. But just as Annie Pankowski came back on the ice to make Team USA one man short, Canada scored on a deflected goal to tie the game at 2. Team USA put on its share of pressure following the game-tying goal, but failed to find a winner in regulation or overtime.
Next up in the Rivalry Series is Game 4 Wednesday night in Vancouver, British Columbia. The series concludes stateside in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 8.