Team USA defeats Canada 5-1; Brandt nets two goals in victory
WESLEY CHAPEL, Florida -- Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) scored twice as the U.S. Women's National Team topped Canada, 5-1, here today in Tampa, Florida, to win the 2017 Four Nations Cup.
“We are progressing toward February”, said Robb Stauber, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach. “That is our main objective; to be the best that we can be before February, and this is a stepping stone.”
Team USA gained momentum early in the first period when Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) skated the puck down the ice on a breakaway three minutes into play, but she could not get it past Canadian netminder Genevieve Lacasse. Though both the U.S. and Canada had several great chances, including one power play opportunity apiece, neither was able to convert and the first period ended 0-0.
With 4:54 remaining in the second period, the U.S. got on the board when Brandt took a wrist shot from the slot to put Team USA ahead of Canada, 1-0. Just over a minute later, Brandt lit the lamp again on the power play when she gathered Amanda Kessel’s (Madison, Wis.)rebound from the bottom of the left circle and found the back of the net to give the U.S. a 2-0 advantage entering the final stanza.
Canada struck on the power play just halfway through the third, when Megan Agosta shot a one-timer past U.S. goaltender Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.), cutting the deficit in half. Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) answered back, putting home a rebound after two Team USA attempts on net. With just more than a minute left to play, Emily Pfalzer (Buffalo, N.Y.) made a cross-zone pass on the power play to Kessel who one-timed the puck into the net. Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) then skated the puck down the right side for a backhanded goal with just 17 seconds remaining, accounting for the 5-1 final. Rooney made 18 saves on 19 shots in the victory.
The United States has captured the Four Nations Cup title eight times (1997, 2003, 2008, 2011-12, 2015-17), finished second 12 times and third in the 2013 tournament. The U.S. holds an overall record of 50-6-5-24-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) in 87 Three/Four Nations Cup games
A Gutsy performance from both sides