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Canada beats U.S. 3-2 in shootout; Wakefield scores winner, but Wickenheiser leaves early

OTTAWA, Ont. – Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) scored the decisive goal of the shootout to give Canada a 3-2 win in a tense game which saw the Americans grab an early 2-0 lead, only to see Canada rally late in the third.

The victory was tempered by Canada's captain, Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS), leaving the game early in the second period. She had missed the Canadian Interuniversity Sport finals in Toronto a couple of weeks ago with an injury, but there are no indications yet whether this is the same problem or something new. Monique Lamoureux and Brianna Decker were the goal-scorers for the U.S., while Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Catherine Ward (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) scored for Canada in regulation. Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) for Canada and Hilary Knight also scored in the shootout, which ended after four rounds of shooters.

Canada continues Wednesday night with a game against Switzerland, while the United States plays Finland earlier in the day. “We wanted to start with a good level of intensity, be physical, get the momentum, but it didn't work out like that,” Canadian forward Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) said. "Still, we battled in the third. That was our best period. We crashed the net, had several chances. I think we have to build from that and play three periods like we played in the third."

The Americans had the only two goals and the only two power plays of a nervous opening period. Lamoureux opened the scoring at 4:05 with the extra man. From the stick side of the Canadian crease, the right-hand shot lifted the puck over the shoulder of Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, ACAC). Then, with just 66 seconds left in the period they made it 2-0 off a giveaway at their own blue line. Amanda Kessel was stopped off the rush, but Decker followed up on the play and scored on her own rebound after being left unchecked in Szabados’s crease. The goals deflated the Canadians as teams headed to the dressing room, but they were skating better than a year ago when they were badly beaten in the opening game. The difference was the U.S. ability to get in the way of shots and passes, blocking any advance that might have been dangerous.

 

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