In what’s often referred to as the best rivalry in women’s sports, Canada and USA met again in the gold medal game, with Canada holding on to win the gold 2-1.
The opening period saw both teams feeling each other out as much of the play happened in the neutral zone. They both came close on the chances including Marie-Philip Poulin freezing Nicole Hensley at one end and Alex Carpenter beating Ann-Renee Desbiens, but not the crossbar, at the other end. The cautionary first period ended with a 0-0 score and shots only 5-2 in favor of Canada.
As the second period got underway, veteran Brianne Jenner scored two goals for Canada in the second. She broke the deadlock 9:30 into the second period taking a chip from Marie-Philip Poulin at the blue line. Driving to the net Jenner found space near the goal line slipping the puck five-hole on Nicole Hensley from a bad angle. Only 1:24 later, Jenner scored again walking in from the left board and firing high over Hensley’s glove. Jenner had a slow tournament only scoring her first goal in the semifinal against Switzerland.
With only 21 seconds remaining in the period with the USA on the powerplay, Amanda Kessel found Abby Roque backdoor with a cross-ice pass where Roque finished the play to make the game 2-1 heading into the third. Kendall Coyne Schofield picked up the second assist on Roque’s goal.
The third period saw spectacular chances and saves, including a near miss by Lacey Eden in the blue paint. Then on the power play, Ann-Renee Desbiens sprawled out to stop American captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, followed moments later by Abby Roque narrowly missing on the doorstep. With 1:49 to go USA pulled Nicole Hensley and pinned Canada in their zone under pressure, but Desbiens stood on her head stopping chance after chance.
In the final seconds, Canada’s normal scoring hero, Marie-Philip Poulin, became a defensive hero laying out to block the game’s final shot to hold on to Canada’s 2-1 win for gold.
USA’s Taylor Heise topped all scorers in the tournament collecting 18 points in seven games. Sarah Filler was Canada’s top scorer notching 11 points in seven games.
It was a golden year for Canada’s women’s hockey program capturing gold at the Beijing Olympics, U-18 women’s World Championship, and now the senior World Championship in Denmark.
Czechia Wins Bronze
In a historic moment, Czechia won their first-ever medal at the women’s World Championship defeating Switzerland 4-2 to capture bronze.
Natalie Mlynkova scored a pair, while defensive star Daniela Pejsova notched her fifth goal and ninth point of the tournament. Vendula Pribylova scored the other Czechian goal. It was a monumental finish for Czechia who started the tournament in Group B.
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