Knight, USA’s “underdog” team leads Canada for world hockey gold

BRAMPTON, Ontario — Hilary Knight scored three times, including the go-ahead goal with 3:10 left in the standings, and the Americans won their tenth gold medal at the Women’s Hockey World Championships and their first in four years with a 6-3 victory on cross. – Canada Border Competition Sunday night.

Caroline Harvey had a goal and an assist, and Abby Murphy and Kayla Barnes scored into an empty net. The Americans scored four unanswered goals in the third period. Erin Frankel stopped 24 rounds. Knight raised her tournament scoring record to 61, while also raising her record scoring total to 101.

“It’s been a while,” Knight said of winning her ninth gold medal, but for the first time since 2019.

“It’s hard to beat Canada. It’s hard to be in Canada, right? So we definitely felt like we were underdogs,” Knight added. “People are always rooting against us, but somehow we persevere and feel the sweetest that way.”

The Americans overcame three one-goal failures before Knight scored twice in the span of 27 seconds to take advantage of a two-man advantage and tie the game at 3.

With Brian Jenner out for a fumble and Claire Thompson later penalized 1:11 for delaying the game, Knight hit a shot from the middle of the hole to beat Anne-Rene Despens high on the side of the glove. Knight made it 5-3 when he deflected Harvey’s left point shot.

Jenner scored two goals and added an assist, and Marie-Philip Poulin scored a goal and an assist for Canada, who were seeking their 13th title at the tournament. Desbiens stopped 16 shots in losing her first tournament game in 17 career starts.

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“I think we’re in disbelief now. Not that we don’t know the opponent is a great hockey team, but we totally believe in our group,” Jenner said.

Jenner added, “I think there were a lot of moments in that match. You know, I think it would be easy to blame somewhere else. But I think we have to look at ourselves.” “I mean we have to find a way to keep those leads.”

The victory of the Americans was punctuated by the loud singing of the American national anthem, with pride and joy. They won the gold medal on Canadian soil, with the tournament being played in front of a largely pro-Canadian crowd in suburban Toronto.

The United States has recovered from losing the past two World Championships to Canada, as well as the gold medal at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

“It’s unbelievable,” said veteran striker Amanda Kessel. “It’s one of the best teams we’ve won against. To step back and come back like that.” “It’s never easy to beat Canada. And they kind of had our number there for a while. So I think we were ready to get them back there.”

The last time the Americans won gold was in 2019, when they defeated host nation Finland 2-1 in a penalty shootout, and after the Finns defeated Canada in the semifinals. The USA has not beaten Canada with a gold medal at stake since the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

Other than that, Canada and the United States have met in 21 other World Championship gold medal matches.

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The win was the first for second-year American coach John Wroblewski, who rearranged the senior roster by having five players make their World Series debuts.

Knight honored Wrobleswski during the on-ice celebration by first presenting him with the championship gold trophy and then embracing it in a passionate hug.

The United States finished with a career-high 43 goals in the tournament, rebounding from a 4-3 penalty shootout loss to Canada in the preliminary round. And they defeated a veteran Canadian team with the majority of players who had been together since the win in Beijing.

The Americans responded every time after Canada scored, with Harvey tying the game at 3 at 5:40 of the third period. Keeping the puck at the left point, the 20-year-old defender took a few steps inside and fired a shot that hit Despines on the side of the glove.

Harvey enjoyed a great tournament when he finished with four goals and a team lead with 14 points. It capped a great year for the 20-year-old, who last month celebrated winning an NCAA title her junior year at Wisconsin.

Leave it to Knight to pick up the win in her 13th appearance at the tournament, and a day later she indicated that the Americans were at their peak as the tournament progressed.

Denisa Kryzova scored twice, including the green goal, and added an assist. The Czech Republic won their second straight bronze medal with a 3-2 victory over Switzerland in another match for third place last year.

Kira Yrjanen scored the green goal 6:48 into the second period. Finland will return to Group A at the World Championships next year after its 3-1 victory over Sweden on Sunday. The Finns, who took home 13 silvers and a silver in 2019, bounced back after finishing seventh at last year’s tournament in Denmark.

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