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.