US Beats Canada 2-0 in Women's Hockey World Championship

The United States shook off the drama of the days leading up to the women's world hockey championship by beating Canada 2-0 to open the tournament Friday.

Last December, I presented at the 2016 World Hockey Forum in Moscow and spoke about how to make women's hockey a sustainable global game.

Ronja Savolainen scored the victor at 18:19 of the third period.

"They turned the page - I think that's the best way to put it", said USA coach Robb Stauber. "I was able to go to pretty much every playoff game because I'd just ended college. And that starts with heart".

Canada's best scoring chance came from its top player, Marie-Philip Poulin. "We have to be ready when they drop the puck". The question now is whether two competing leagues are sustainable, with players and officials on both sides of the border suggesting that a merger might be best in the long run.

Team USA then scored a huge insurance goal with 15:11 to play. Forget skill, skating or shot accuracy.

While the U.S. Women's hockey team is competing at the World Championships in MI, 60 girls from all around the state are at Cairns Arena for a hockey clinic hosted by the Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association.

It's a odd thing, really.

Canada sits at the bottom of Group A with 0 points, but all is not lost. Almost 18 million people were watching on TV when the Canadian womens hockey team rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat the Americans 3-2 in overtime to win Olympic gold in 2014.

Both the Americans and Finns forced Canada to the outside to shoot from the perimeter.

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"We know that it's not going to be exactly the same". "Any time you play the US, it's a big battle and you want to win". "You're not going to play like you can if you're carrying extra baggage". After everything Team USA has already accomplished, you can bet they will be more hungry than ever to bring home the gold in Plymouth. "Anytime you step on the ice, you want to push and you want to battle".

For USA Hockey to pretend that it has always walked hand in hand with its women's players is a joke.

Exploiting a Canadian turnover to score first and getting a soft goal from starter Emerance Maschmeyer in the second period was the opening Finland needed.

"There's something there with Pooh", Kevin Dineen, who was then Canada's head coach, told reporters in Sochi.

Madeline Rooney stopped all 14 shots she faced, while Maria Sorokina turned away 27 shots for Russian Federation (1-1).

For Canada and former Bulldogs Jocelyne Larocque, a two-time All-American defenseman, and forward Haley Irwin, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, it marked the second consecutive shutout loss to the U.S. The Americans won 1-0 in last year's gold-medal game. From the tremendous accomplishments in the Olympics to the record win streak for the UConn Huskies to the recent challenge from the US women's national hockey team, there has been significant media coverage for people to talk about. The good thing is that once you finally find the ones in the trenches of what programs do exist, you, and they, will immediately know you aren't really alone. "Our team really fed off that energy and just continued to press the whole game". The challenge for the Canadians is to manufacture that same passion.

"We kind of stuck to the outside", Poulin said.

"We were just taking it shift by shift there, just focusing in on how you can get pucks to the net and what not", Decker said. "We weren't sitting back, we actually pressured them all the time-skate, skate, skate", Raty said.

After the players' strike with USA Hockey over a "wage and equitable support" dispute ended Tuesday, the big question remained how the US would look on Friday against Canada, arguably the best team in the world, and if there was enough practice time to still put together a solid team that had team chemistry.

The big moment is likely being saved for next year in PyeongChang.