US beats Canada in women's hockey world championship

Shannon Szabados made some spectacular saves to keep the Canadians in the game and finished with 28 saves, but they couldn't get a puck past Hensley.

In the other Pool A game, Yekaterina Smolentseva scored a power-play goal with 50 seconds remaining to lift Russian Federation to a 2-1 win over Finland.

The Americans (1-0) return to the ice on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. when they host Team Russia. The Americans beat the Canadians a year ago at the world championship, winning the eight-nation tournament for the third straight time over Canada and sixth time in seven opportunities.

Still, it's hard not to read too much into this win for the U.S. "I think it was a big emotional game for them tonight".

After threatening to boycott the tournament because of a lack of financial support, the US returned to the ice to a loud ovation from a crowd that was a mixture of Canadian and American fans.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin hit the post five minutes into the second period and Meghan Agosta put a backhand off the post on a partial breakaway with seven minutes remaining.

Canada outshot the Americans 10-9 in the third, but the Canadians were held to the perimeter for the most part. Decker tapped in a pass from Megan Bozek, who skated the puck into Canada's zone and circled behind the net before feeding her teammate. Gigi Marvin gave them a two-goal cushion early in the third, and their swarming defense shut out a high-powered offense. And from the moment the puck dropped, it seemed like the Americans rode that support in what looked like a one-sided win.

But, according to Team Canada head coach Laura Schuler, thats a risky way of looking at things — even if its accurate.

"I think we're on a mission right now", Poulin said.

Since the first International Ice Hockey Federation women's world championship in 1990, the US and Canada have not allowed another country to advance to the finals.

The medal games will be played April 7.

"I think both Canada and the USA had trouble past year with other countries", said Schuler.

The Canadian National Team will have three former Bulldogs in two different roles, starting with former two-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion, defenseman, and Olympic gold medalist, Jocelyne Larocque. It can go either way.

“Theres a lot of Europeans now that are playing here in North American. "It's added to the development and growth".

One day in and the womens worlds already has its first upset.

"“They have a really great team, but I don't know why we lost", Swedish forward Hanna Olsson told reporters. "We were itching to be on the ice and it was displayed beautifully tonight, the unity, the support around the ice".

Germany, a team that didnt qualify for next years Olympics, played like it had nothing to lose.

"It's a terrific night", Ogrean said after the second period. The American players threatened to boycott the tournament unless they could agree on a new deal that provides the American women additional compensation and equitable treatment. "We were disappointed we didn't qualify for the Olympics, but that's over now".

  • Julie Sanders