Canada wins women's world hockey championship
Team Canada players celebrate after defeating the United States in overtime in the gold medal game of the World Women's Ice Hockey Championships in Burlington, Vt., Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP / Toby Talbot)
Published Saturday, April 14, 2012 10:17PM EDT
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Caroline Ouellette scored her second goal of the game 1:50 into overtime as Canada won the women's world hockey championship with a 5-4 victory over the U.S. on Saturday.
Canada may have won Olympic gold in 2010, but it was the country's first world championship since 2007 in Winnipeg.
The U.S. beat them in three straight finals after that, including an overtime victory last year in Switzerland.
Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser scored short-handed and Canada also got goals from Jayna Hefford and Meghan Agosta.
Agosta scored late in regulation to send the final into overtime and also had a pair of assists. Goaltender Shannon Szabados made 40 saves in the victory.
The Americans fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period with three unanswered power-play goals.
Defenceman Gigi Marvin scored twice, with Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker adding goals for the hosts. Goaltender Molly Schaus stopped 34 of 39 shots for the victory.
The U.S. and Canada have met in the final of all 14 world championship starting with the first one in Ottawa in 1990.
Canada took its worst beating ever from the U.S. in a 9-2 loss to open the tournament. The Americans scored five goals in the first five minutes and 32 seconds and so thoroughly dominated Canada that the U.S. seemed the clear favourite here.
The visitors were ready to match their pace in the final, however. They blocked shots and kept the U.S. from getting to the rebounds they'd turned into goals in the first game. An American penalty within the first minute helped Canada settle into the game.
It was quickly apparent this was going to be another in a long line of fast, hard and mean games between the North American women, to the delight of the 4,000 filling the University of Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Fighting Catamount band provided a college football feel.
Canada's slogan coming into this world championship was "skill and sandpaper." There was too much of the latter late in the second period and to start the third as the U.S. made good on three straight power plays to take the lead.
Marvin's shot from the blue-line deflected off the post and in at 2:57 of the third period to put the U.S. in front 4-3. She had tied the game at 18:16 of the second period, while Decker scored at 16:43.
But it was the U.S. in penalty trouble late in regulation, allowing Agosta to tie the game with a power-play goal at 17:22.
Ouellette made it 3-1 for Canada putting her own rebound past Schaus at 5:36 of the second period. Canada swarmed the net with Hefford banging in a rebound for a power-play goal at 4:07.
Coyne tied the game at 12:54 of the first period off a quick cycle in the offensive zone. The U.S. got bodies in front of Szabados and Coyne scored on a deflection.
Wickenheiser forced a turnover in the neutral zone for a breakaway on Schaus. The Canadian captain knocked in her own rebound for a short-handed goal at 7:37.
With six players appearing in their first world championship, Canadian head coach Dan Church shortened his bench and relied more on his veterans, who were sick of silver and wanted back on top of the podium.
There was sandpaper on both sides of the puck. Forearms and sticks clashed when the whistle blew around the net.
Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin and U.S. counterpart Jocelyne Lamoureux got into it more than once in the first period. Jennifer Wakefield and American defender Kacey Bellamy exchanged a punches in the second and were both send to the penalty box.
Switzerland beat Finland 6-2 for the bronze medal, which was the first medal at the women's world championship for the Swiss.
Sweden, Russia and Germany finished fifth to seventh. Slovakia was relegated to the second-tier world championship.
The 2013 women's world championship will be held in Ottawa.