Canada 2 United States 1 (OT)
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Shannon Szabados said the Canadian and United States women’s hockey teams could play 100 times and it would not get boring.
That was true in another close game Sunday.
Brianne Jenner scored 37 seconds into overtime, Szabados made 27 saves and Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a pre-Olympic exhibition game.
“It’s fun anytime we get to play them and why we play each other so many times is because we have that respect for each other and it helps both teams prepare,” Szabados said.
Jenner took a pass from Rebecca Johnston and beat Maddie Rooney with a high shot from the right circle.
This is the fifth of eight meetings between the teams leading up to Olympics. Team USA has won three games, including the championship last month in the Four Nations Cup.
Canada has won four straight Olympic titles, but the U.S. has claimed seven of the last eight world championships, including three straight.
“Every single time we play them we learn something new and it’s what we need to keep preparing because it’s a good test every time,” said United States centre Hannah Brandt.
One thing the Americans learned is you must finish strong.
“It’s a 1-1 hockey game and we got five shots on goal in the third period. That’s not who we are,” said coach Robb Stauber. “It’s more of a mindset, and we have to remind ourselves that we’re a team that has to get pucks to the net. We can score some pretty goals but we had to remind the team we’ll take anything too.”
Megan Keller scored on the power play early in the second to put the Americans up 1-0. After a pass from Alex Carpenter, her shot from the right circle got caught in the skates of Dani Cameranesi. Keller followed her shot to put the loose puck past Szabados.
Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game late in the second on a rebound after Rooney stopped a shot from Meghan Acosta.
“We just got to be confident. Every time we play the U.S. we kind of step back a little bit because we know they have a great team. We just have to focus on ourselves and build from this win,” Poulin said.
Defencemen Sidney Morin and right wing Haley Skarupa made their debuts for Team USA after joining the team last Monday. Three players must be cut from the American team before Jan. 1.
Neither got into the scoring column, and Skarupa took a penalty.
The teams are scheduled to meet again Tuesday in Winnipeg, Manitoba Dec. 15 in San Jose, California and Dec. 17 in Edmonton, Alberta.