BLAINE, Minn. - Canada's under-18 women's hockey team needed some late drama to secure a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the United States and claim the opening game of a three-game exhibition set.
Canada trailed 2-1 heading into the third period, but forward Sydney McKibbon tied it just four minutes into the frame. Defenders Emma Korbs and Halli Krzynaniak assisted on the play.
It remained 2-2 until forward Hannah Miller took a pass from forward Eden Murray to score the winner with four minutes remaining.
It was the two teams' first encounter since Canada won the under-18 championship in January.
Goalie Kimberly Newell of Burnaby, B.C., stopped 41 shots. She said her teammates took a while to get going Thursday, but wasn't surprised considering the squad was just announced on Sunday.
"I did expect our team to be slow, it's our first time together as a team and we've travelled a long way to get here," said Newell.
The Americans outshot the Canadians in every period for an overall tally of 43-27.
They took a deserved lead five minutes into the game when Danielle Cameranesi took a pass from Sidney Morin and fired past Newell for the only goal of the period.
Canada tied things up halfway through the second with a goal from forward Nicole Martindale, but fell behind two minutes later when American Megan Wolfe set up Cara Piazza.
"I thought our team started slow in first, but we came out stronger in the second and third to take it to them," said Newell, who suggested her team might be stronger in Game 2, which goes on Friday.
"We've had a few practices, but this is our first game together. We have a good group who are bonding and work hard."