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AP

U.S. beats Canada 5-1 to win 3rd straight Four Nations Cup

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hannah Brandt scored twice in the second period and the United States women beat Canada 5-1 on Sunday to win their third straight Four Nations Cup championship.

Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel each added a goal and an assist. Kendall Coyne had a goal, and Dani Cameranesi added four assists.

Maddie Rooney made 18 saves and improved to 3-0 in the Americans’ four games at this tournament. The goalie now is 4-0-0 this fall with three of her victories against Canada.

The United States won the event for the eighth time overall. Better yet, the Americans now have beaten their biggest rivals for the third time in four games over the past month as they tune up for the Pyeongchang Games in February. The two women’s hockey powers will meet again as part of their pre-Olympic exhibition tour on Dec. 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

”We are progressing toward February,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said. ”That is our main objective: to be the best that we can be before February, and this is a stepping stone.”

Since Canada won the gold medal in 2014 at Sochi with a 3-2 overtime win, the United States now has won six of seven titles and 10 of 13 games overall against the only other country to win Olympic gold in women’s hockey.

Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin said every loss is frustrating.

”That’s not the result we wanted, but we will go back to Calgary and work hard as a team,” Poulin said. ”It’s a long year, and we will keeping working to get better so we can get there.”

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Brandt broke open a scoreless game with her goal at 15:06 of the second period, beating Genevieve Lacasse with a wrist er from just inside the left circle. Brandt quickly gave the Americans a 2-0 lead less than 2 minutes later.

Meghan Agosta scored just past the midway point of the third period pulling Canada within 2-1. Knight scored on a power play with 3:41 remaining, and Kessel scored on a 5-on-3 with 67 seconds left as the Americans made Canada pay for too many late penalties. They went 3 of 7 with the advantage, and Coyne finished off the win with her goal with 17 seconds left.

”Unfortunately, it was really the last five minutes of the third where we weren’t disciplined that ended up costing us,” Canadian coach Laura Schuler said. ”The final score wasn’t indicative of how the game was played.”

U.S., Canada set up Four Nations Cup final showdown

USA Hockey

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) — The United States has earned yet another game against Canada, and the Americans really like how they’re playing right now.

Kacey Bellamy scored on a power-play at 4:23 of the first period and the United States beat Sweden 5-0 on Friday night to reach the championship of the Four Nations Cup.

The Americans will play Canada on Sunday looking for their eighth overall title in this tournament and third straight. So far this fall, the United States has won two of the first three games against its biggest rivals in women’s hockey, including a 4-2 win Wednesday night in the round-robin portion of this event.

“We know who they are and they know who we are, and it’s very likely another real good hockey game,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said about playing Canada for the fourth time as part of their pre-Olympic exhibition tour.

The U.S. squad has won three games in four nights scoring 17 goals and allowing only four.

“Obviously, it’s always great to win a game and win three in a row is the ultimate goal, but I’m just happy with the way we’re playing,” U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said. “I think all the games have been different, a lot of special teams. We’ve done a great job managing our energy, managing our intensity, the way that we want to play. Sticking to dictating the game on our end and just happy with where we’re at right now.”

Kendall Coyne scored two goals in the second. Hannah Brandt had a goal and an assist, and Gigi Marvin had a goal.

This was the 18th game between the United States and Sweden in this event, and the Americans remain undefeated with their seventh shutout in the last nine games between the teams.

They jumped on Sweden’s first penalty when Olivia Carlsson went to the box for high-sticking, needing just 29 seconds to score.

Bellamy skated across the slot in front of the crease and pounced on a rebound of Hilary Knight‘s shot to beat goalie Sara Grahn with a backhander.

Sweden killed off its other two penalties of the period, and goalie Nicole Hensley made a nice stop on a short-handed breakaway attempt by Lisa Johansson at 18:18 of the first. That may have been the biggest of the nine shots Hensley faced.

“It’s critical,” Stauber said. “Anytime a game’s 1-nothing, that’s a game-changing save, and she came up big and had some other real good saves. And that’s not easy on a given night when you only face nine shots on goal. That’s not easy to stay in something like that. So she was mentally focused … She didn’t give any ground.”

Coyne made it 2-0 with her second goal in three games in this tournament 1:35 into the second. Then Coyne made it 3-0 at 4:56, and Brandt scored from the slot midway through the second.

Canada beat Finland 4-0 to advance to the title game. Finland took three of the first four shots, but Brianne Jenner scored on the power play at 13:27 of the 1st for a lead the Canadians never lost.

Canada went 2 of 6 with the advantage while killing all seven penalties. Marie-Philip Poulinhad a goal and an assist, and Meghan Agosta added two assists.

U.S. women beat Canada 4-2 for 2nd win in 3 games

Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP
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BY TERESA M. WALKER

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) — The Americans showed off their special teams skills in beating Canada for the second time in three games as part of their pre-Olympic exhibition tour.

Kendall Coyne and Megan Bozek each had a goal and an assist and the United States women’s hockey team beat Canada 4-2 4-2 on Wednesday night in a physical game at the Four Nations Cup.

Cayla Barnes and Alex Carpenter each had power-play goals as the Americans went 3 of 5 with the advantage. Brianna Decker had two assists, and goalie Maddie Rooney made 20 saves for her second win in two nights with the Americans trying to win this event for a third straight time and eighth overall.

”We did so many things right, it’s a great thing to build off of,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said.

Rebecca Johnston and Meghan Agosta scored for Canada, which went 1 of 9 on the power play. The Canadians did not dress Jennifer Wakefield, who had a hat trick and an assist Tuesday night in a 9-0 win over Sweden. Coach Laura Schuler said Wakefield usually is a part of the power play, but Canada still is busy evaluating players before roster cuts for the 2018 Winter Games.

”Our special teams didn’t get the job done tonight,” Schuler said. ”Our power play didn’t produce like how we would like them to, and our penalty kill at the same time wasn’t as successful as we have been in the past. I think we need to shoot more and get more pucks through.”

The Americans took the first game 5-2 in Quebec City, and Barnes was in the stands watching when Canada evened it up with a 5-1 win in Boston on Oct. 25.

Since the Canadians rallied to win the 2014 Olympic gold medal 3-2 in overtime, the Americans have been on a tear winning five of six international events and now 10 of 13 games overall against their rivals. They are poised to meet again Sunday in the cup championship.

Rooney from Andover, Minnesota, has been in net for both wins over Canada.

”Maddie played really well for them I thought,” Schuler said. ”At the same time, I thought we missed a lot of opportunities, missed the net when we had some pretty good chances. Obviously, that affected the outcome of the game.”

Barnes, the youngest player on the U.S. roster at 18, was only called up Oct. 28 and withdrew from Boston College to chase an Olympic berth. She scored in the first period of Tuesday night’s 8-2 win over Finland and scored her second goal in as many nights at 15:03 of the first skating into the left edge of the right circle to beat goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens for a 1-0 lead.

Bozek, who didn’t dress against Finland, made it a 2-0 lead with a slap shot at 17:50 of the first.

The Canadians answered by taking the first seven shots and outshooting the United States 15-9 in the second. Johnston got Canada on the board with a power-play goal 3:07 into the second. That was the only time Canada made the Americans pay for being short-handed in a game with lots of shoving between teams that know each other so well.

The United States went up 3-1 when Coyne scored a power-play goal off a rebound 50 seconds into the third. Agosta pulled Canada within 3-2 with 4:29 left on a short-handed goal, but Carpenter answered with the Americans’ third power-play goal from the left circle 36 seconds later.

In the other game Wednesday, Linda Valimaki scored the game-winner as Finland rallied with three goals in the third period to beat Sweden 3-1. Finland will play Canada on Friday followed by the United States and Sweden.

USA Hockey, Hockey Canada reveal 2018 Olympic jerseys

USA Hockey
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The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are approaching, and on Wednesday morning both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada revealed the jerseys their hockey teams will be wearing.

First up, the U.S., who will be donning three jerseys for the tournament.

Once again, the USA jerseys will feature “Land of the Free – Home of the Brave” on the inside neckline. According to USA Hockey, these jerseys also feature “injected silicone molds” that “make the trim pop.” Also, the sleeve graphic was “inspired by bald eagle feathers and represents the theme of fluid force.” Finally, the “flicker film (rather than heavy twill) base for the crest and numbers increase vibrancy and sparkles under arena lights.”

[SEE: 2018 Olympic hockey schedule]

They’re certainly…interesting. They do have a very XFL, Pro Beach Hockey vibe to them with the design and color scheme.

Since both jerseys were designed by Nike, you’ll see just how much in common Canada’s has with the Americans’ look.

Canada will also be going with three jerseys: the traditional red and white along with another black one. According to Hockey Canada, the maple leaf logo was “inspired by a skate blade” and also features gold trim.

So what do you think? Would you put down some hard-earned cash for a 2018 Brian Gionta or Ryan Malone USA Hockey jersey or perhaps a 2018 Jarome Iginla or Derek Roy Canada one?

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Canada beats USA 5-1 on pre-Olympic women’s hockey tour

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BOSTON (AP) — In a women’s hockey rivalry that has seen medals turn from gold to silver in a matter of seconds, or a few inches, the United States and Canada just aren’t sure what to make of the recent spate of blowouts.

Three days after the Americans won 5-2 in Quebec to open a seven-game pre-Olympic exhibition tour, Canada responded with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday that shocked the Americans and the sold-out crowd at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

”We’re trying to get used to playing each other,” said Canadian forward Natalie Spooner, who scored twice. ”We’re going to have to keep getting better, because I’m sure they’re going to keep getting better, too.”

Laura Fortino’s short-handed goal five minutes into the second period broke a 1-1 tie, and Spooner and Meghan Agosta scored 82 seconds apart at the end of the period to make it 4-1. Spooner also scored in the first period, Marie-Philip Poulin added one in the third and Genevi�ve Lacasse stopped 37 shots for Canada.

Emily Pfalzer scored the only goal for the Americans, tying the game midway through the first. Nicole Hensley stopped 12 of 16 shots before Alex Rigsby came on for the third period and stopped six of seven shots.

The only two real powers in women’s hockey, the U.S. and Canada have played in the gold medal game of every single world championship and all but one Olympics since the sport was added to the Winter Games in 1998.

Five of the last six world championships have been one-goal games; four of them needed overtime. At the Sochi Olympics, Canada took the Americans to OT – and won – after a length-of-the-ice U.S. shot at an empty net rolled into the post and bounced wide.

So it was a bit of a surprise when the U.S. won the opener of the Olympic tuneup exhibition tour by three goals. And perhaps even more shocking that Canada came back a few days later and dropped a 5-1 win on the hosts.

”It was almost the exact opposite,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said. ”Except we only got one.”

Eleven members of the American team that won gold in Nagano were honored between periods, but the game itself did not offer much hope that this year’s players will be able to break a four-Olympic losing streak. (Since 1998, the U.S. has won a bronze and three silvers, including a second-place finish after losing to Canada in overtime in Sochi.)

Still, the U.S. has won seven of the last eight world championships, beating Canada each time.

”For us, we’re working on tipping the scales in our favor every time we play them,” said U.S. captain Meghan Duggan, a two-time Olympian.

Canada coach Laura Schuler, who was a member of the 1998 team that lost to the Americans in Nagano, said she knew her team wasn’t as bad as it was in the opener. ”I just know that when you play the U.S., it’s always going to be back and forth,” she said.

Spooner said the team looked at Sunday’s loss as a learning experience.

”We definitely reflected on it,” she said. ”Luckily, we came back stronger today.”