Canada wins gold in overtime
by Ameeta VOHRA|15 APR 2024
photo: @ International Ice Hockey Federation / Andre Ringuette

Another chapter was scripted in the intense rivalry between Canada and the United States on Sunday evening at the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship.

In the gold medal game, it took overtime for Canada to defeat the United States 6-5.

Both teams came out swinging from the moment the puck drop.  Each team was aggressive and it was a see-saw battle until the end with each side trading goals.

Canada striked first as Erin Ambrose's long shot sailed past the traffic in front of the United States net.  Marie-Philip Poulin's hard work on making a screen and building traffic was just enough for the puck to get through and beat goaltender Aerin Frankel to give Canada a 1-0 lead at 6:32 of the first period.

However, the United States responded back about two minutes later.  Taylor Heise was able to create another turnover in the neutral zone.  As she did that, Heise collided with Canadian forward Blayre Turnbull.  The puck did get to Laila Edwards, who buried the puck up and over Desbiens to tie the game 1-1. The goal was Edwards' sixth of the tournament.

Canada was given a great opportunity to regain the lead before the first period would end. The team went on the power play as Kelly Pannek was assessed for a tripping penalty with more than wo minutes remaining in the period, The Canadians were not able to capitalize on the chance; however, Marie-Philip Poulin came very close with a tremendous chance with 48 seconds left and she could not convert into a score.

In the second period, Canada thought they got the go-ahead goal.  Defender Jamie Bourbonnais shot the puck off the glass and it created the start of a 2-on-1 situation.  Julia Gosling wound up and lauched the puck to get it under Frankel's glove and into the net 3:08 into the second period. The goal was Gosling's second of the tournament.

The United States would respond with the equalizer with 9:50 remaining in the period.  Hannah Bilka was on the far side of the Canadian zone and passed it to defender Megan Keller, who let it rip and the puck ended up going past Desbien's legs.

About two minutes later, the United States would go on the power play as Danielle Seradachny was given a slashing penalty. Canada effectively killed the power play and denied the United States of getting a score to take over the lead.

With 3:28 left in the period, Alex Carpenter gave the United States the lead as the play started with the team being successful with the puck pursuit around the net.  The puck reached Carpenter and she whacked it a couple of times until it got past Desbiens.

Marie-Philip Poulin got the equalizer for Canada with 1:02 remaining in the period.  Canada forced a turnover and Poulin got the puck.  The Canadian captain put the pucks on the board and then fooled everyone about which wat she was going and blasted the puck past Frankel.  It was Poulin's first goal of the tournament.

The United States tried to take the lead as they went on the power play towards the dying seconds of the second period and started the third period with the advantage. However, Canada killed another power play chance and kept the United States at bay.

With 12:46 remaining in the game, Poulin is charged a penalty for an illegal hit as she levelled Britta Curl. It was a perfect opportunity to get the go-ahead goal. Captain Hilary Knight delivered to get the score.  The play started in Canada's zone and defender Caroline Harvey shot the puck towards the net.  Desbiens made the save but the loose puck came to Knight and she blasted it past Desbiens for the goal.

However, Canada would not go away quietly.  A play that started with Laura Stacey deep in the corner of the United States' zone trying to shield it away from Harvey.  Blayre Turnbull created traffic in front of the net.  Emily Clark shot the puck from a tough angle but it went into the net for the score with 9:14 left in the game.

With 7:41 remaining, Poulin would score her second goal of the night to put Canada in the lead.  Renata Fast shot the puck towards the net and Frankel made the save.  Knocking on Frankel's door was Poulin who kept on trying to put the puck in the net.  On her third attempt, she buried it past Frankel for the score.

The United States responded 2:39 later as Lacey Eden passed the puck from behind the net to Harvey, who was successful in getting it past Desbiens.

In overtime, Danielle Serdachny was the hero as she got the puck past Frankel 5:16 into the extra frame to give Canada the gold medal.

“It was amazing; the game in general was just so exciting to be part of," Poulin says.  "It was back and forth 6-5 I mean it's been a while. We haven't seen a game like that. One team going up the other team coming back. It was very fun to be part of that. As a group, we're very excited about the result, but I think we stuck to it. We stuck through it the whole time. Our second period was our best. We came back in the third period. Overtime was back and forth. It was very fun.”

As for finally scoring in the tournament and getting a pair of goals, she was happy it happened at the most important time in the tournament.

“It's part of it," Poulin says.  "Hockey is a mean sport. As long as you just stick to it and you do the little details right? When you do, you come every day to work, it's going to happen. I am happy it happened today, but we had a great team win today. Everybody stepped up and the whole tournament from the young ones to the veterans, it was a great team effort and I am happy that we got that gold tonight.”

While they are thrilled to win gold, Canada gave props to the United States for putting up such a competitive battle on the ice.

“They're great; they're amazing and I have so much respect for them," Poulin says.  "It's so real. At the end, I had a little hug with Hillary Knight and we just said that it was unbelievable. I think from the start when we share a little fight, they're like how many times we've been here. It was a couple of times, but the excitement. There's so much respect towards that team for the same goal. We dream so hard. We train so hard and it was a great game to be part of.”

As for the United States, the team wanted to win the gold on home soil.  While they are disappointed, the team took some positives from Sunday's game.

“Sudden OT is down to a bounce, right?" Knight says.  "You know we'd love to like play it out sort of the glory days five on five but that's just not how it's performed at this level. And, you know, it's an extremely skilled game and opens up the ice a lot for different mistakes and unfortunately, we made a mistake in the wrong time. We had two seconds on the clock with the kill and you know, hats off to our penalty killers who have been absolutely outstanding all tournament. It really stings not to be able to get over the hump for this one.”

As captain of the team, Knight is proud of how the younger players contributed on the international stage and how the team performed at home.

“Hopefully, I hope the same group’s back," Knight says.  "This team is just awesome. You know, to have for example, Laila Edwards step up to the plate. Huge, huge for us. You know, you can go down there and faster. Every single person was rowing in the right direction for this boat, and unfortunately, it didn't bounce our direction, but I couldn't be more proud of our group and how we've handled this entire tournament and especially all the pressures of being on home ice. There's a lot that goes into that but extremely proud.”