CANADA FALLS TO U.S. IN 4 NATIONS GOLD MEDAL GAME
JASON LA ROSE
JÄRVENPÄÄ, Finland – Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) opened and closed the scoring, but the United States scored five of the six in between, handing Canada’s National Women’s Team a 5-3 loss Saturday in the gold medal game at the 2016 4 Nations Cup.
It’s the second year in a row the Americans have beaten Canada in the final. Overall, the Canadians still lead the all-time gold medal count, 14 to seven.
Riding the momentum of their preliminary-round win on Friday, the Canadians jumped out to a quick lead just 3:40 after the puck dropped when Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) found Poulin in front for the 1-0 goal.
But Emily Pfalzer brought the U.S. even at 16:51, and Hilary Knight streaked down the right wing to beat Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Calgary, CWHL) only 79 seconds after that, sending the Americans to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead after one period.
The U.S. had the edge in a scoreless second period, outshooting Canada 13-4, but strong play from Maschmeyer kept it a one-goal game through 40 minutes.
Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) tied it for the Canadians with her first international goal just shy of the six-minute mark of the third period, wiring a wrist shot past U.S. netminder Alex Rigsby.
Unfortunately for Canada, an offensive burst by the Americans all but put the game away shortly after.
Brianna Decker found the puck in the slot and hammered a slap shot past Maschmeyer just 53 seconds after the Stacey goal, Knight drove to the net for her second of the game at 9:46 and Kelli Stack finished a set-up from Alex Carpenter at 11:47, capping a three-goals-in-five-minutes spurt that made it a 5-2 game.
Poulin got a consolation goal with 40 seconds left, but two goals would be as close as Canada would get.
The captain finished as Canada’s leading scorer at the tournament, scoring three times and adding three assists in four games, two points up on Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Brampton, CWHL), who added her fourth helper of the tournament on the opening goal.