The U.S. and Canada women’s ice hockey teams will always have a rivalry, no matter when or where they play.
In the official 2019-20 Rivalry Series, however, Team USA is the winner after beating Canada 3-1 in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday night. Along with their two wins back in December, the Americans take a 3-1 lead into Saturday’s fifth and final game of the second annual series.
The series represents the last major tune-up before the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship begins March 31 in Nova Scotia. The U.S. will be going for its sixth consecutive and 10th overall title to go along with the Olympic gold medal won in 2018.
Dani Cameranesi, Hayley Scamurra and Hilary Knight scored for the U.S. and goaltender Katie Burt was solid in net for her first win with the senior national team.
After Canada’s overtime win on Monday, U.S. coach Bob Corkum promised an abrasive Team USA heading into Game 4. It proved to be not only a scrappy contest but one that was also evenly matched.
Canada couldn’t take advantage on a power play early in the first period, and Team USA’s Cameranesi got the puck off the boards behind the net, bounced it off a skate and past goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer at 8:19.
Canada’s Jocelyne Larocque tied it at 11:40, taking a centering pass from Melodie Daoust and converting from the slot, and after both goaltenders made some key saves in the second, the game remained tied going into the third.
The U.S. started the third period on the power play and had eight seconds of a two-man advantage but couldn’t convert. Then with 12 minutes left, Knight and Hannah Brandt cycled the puck behind the net while Scamurra got in front of the net in perfect position to take the pass and score to put the U.S. ahead, 2-1.
Knight added an empty net goal for insurance, raising a finger to her lips to quiet the home crowd. The U.S. will close out the series on home ice in Anaheim, California, Saturday.