Along the way, Taylor Heise tied a World Women's record with five assists in the game, a feat last achieved 22 years ago by compatriot Alana Blahoski. Alex Carpenter had two goals, and nine players scored. Japan had just six shots in the game, while U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schofield had seven on her own. The Americans fired 62 shots at two Japanese goalies.
"There's a lot to learn and break down after a game like this," Coyne Schofield said. "We're only just getting used to our new style of play, different line mates, different power play, different looks. There's a ton to talk about as we prepare for Finland."
The game was a re-match for goalies Nicole Hensley and Akane Konishi, who faced each other in last year’s 10-2 U.S. victory. Konishi came on in relief in that game, allowing the final three goals, while Hensley picked up the win. Today, Hensley improved her career World Women’s record to 7-0-1 in ten career games while Konishi was making her first WW start since 2016. She gave way to Miyuu Masuhara midway through after allowing seven goals this afternoon.
It was only the fourth all-time meeting between the nations at the WW, the Americans winning all four.
Japan is right back at it tomorrow, playing the Swiss, while the Americans get a day off before a game against the Finns on Saturday.
"It's a great start for our team," enthused Coyne Schofield. "Coming off a heartbreak six months ago, you kind of think about that day in, day out when you go to the weight room or get on the ice. There are some new faces, new style of play and new structure. We're going to be a more disciplined team, and I think that showed today. We're going to keep building on it. We've only been together a couple of weeks."
Less than two minutes later, it was 2-0 thanks to Rory Guilday. The defender got the puck at the point, waited patiently as she moved in a stride, and snapped a shot post and in.
The U.S. incurred two quick penalties, but killed those off easily, and later in the period they added two more tallies to the scoresheet. Caroline Harvey roofed a backhand from in close on a delayed penalty at 19:00, and 49 seconds later Megan Keller found Hayley Scamurra, who blasted a shot top shelf on a power play to end a convincing 20 minutes.
The Americans didn’t let up in the second, scoring five more and sending Konishi to the bench halfway through in favour of 20-year-old backup Masuhara, who was making her Team Japan debut.
Two goals came with the extra skater and two on nice deflections in front. Lacey Eden made it 5-0 at 1:15 with one of the tips, and 41 seconds later Hannah Bilka scored on the power play. Abby Roque tipped in another midway through, the last goal allowed by Konishi, and Carpenter and Kessel added two late goals just 29 seconds apart to welcome Masuhara to the big time.
Carpenter added another goal early in the third to take the score to double digits, but as much as they scored goals the U.S. did a masterful job of preventing any shots from Japan on Hensley. In the end, it was a one-sided victory, but it's only one day, one step.