COLUMBUS, Ohio -Sarah Parsons (Dover, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal and Chanda Gunn (Huntington Beach, Calif.) denied all four shots in the shootout as the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Canada, 2-1, in the fourth game of the Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour at Nationwide Arena tonight. The team is now 4-0 on the Tour, which resumes in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 2.
“Anytime you play Canada, you're going to expect tough competition,” said Head Coach Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.). “And when you can get an edge on them, in the shootout win, you're going to be pleased.”
The teams played more than 35 scoreless minutes before a pair of penalties made for four-on-four hockey. Katie King (Salem, N.H.) took a centering pass from Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.) and buried it high to the glove-side to give Team USA a 1-0 lead at 15:01 of the second stanza.
With less than four minutes left in the third period, Jayna Hefford evened the tilt with a shot from the right face-off circle that sent the game into overtime. Gunn turned away a pair of Canadian shots in the scoreless five-minute sudden-death overtime.
In the ensuing shootout, Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) opened the competition and went top shelf for the 1-0 shootout lead. Play turned to the other end where Gunn denied Megan Agosta's shot to the stick-side. The following three players on each side failed to score before Parsons deked and potted a low shot to give Team USA a 2-1 win.
Team USA and Canada will meet again at the United Center in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 2. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CST.
Notes: Piqua, Ohio native Kristin King received an enthusiastic ovation from the hometown crowd … Coach Ben Smith praised the venue and the city of Columbus in his post-game comments. “What we found, right out of the shoot, is that this was an ideal hosting situation. From the facilities to the staff to the meet and greets with the public, we found Columbus to be a great location.” … Team USA will practice at the Corecomm Ice Haus in Columbus tomorrow before departing for Chicago.
Scoring By Period
USA 0-1-0-0-1 -- 2
CAN 0-0-1-0-0 -- 1
First Period - Scoring: none. Penalties: USA, Stephens (cross-checking), 4:52; USA, Wendell (body-checking), 8:39; USA, Kennedy (body-checking), 9:30; CAN, Agosta (interference), 11:59. USA, Darwitz (holding the stick), 13:22; CAN, Apps (cross-checking), 13:35; USA, Resor (cross-checking), 17:46.
Second Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Ka. King (Potter), 15:01. Penalties: CAN, Wickenheiser (tripping), 2:07; CAN, Apps (high-sticking), 8:42; USA, Cahow (body-checking), 13:16; CAN, Sunohara (interference) 14:18.
Third Period - Scoring: 2, CAN, Hefford (Sunohara, Agosta), 16:48. Penalties: CAN, Sunohara (high-sticking), 3:03; USA, Parsons (body-checking), 9:16; CAN, Wickenheiser (body-checking), 12:42; CAN, Kellar (holding), 13:30; USA, Darwitz (roughing), 14:09; CAN, Sostorics (roughing), 14:09.