CANADA VS USA RIVALRY SERIES – GAME 5: USA Claims Rivalry Series in OT
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, February 9, 2020
USA 4 – CANADA 3 FINAL (OT)
ANAHEIM, CA – Megan Bozek blasted the game-winner past a sprawling Genevieve Lacasse just 42 seconds into overtime to give the USA their fourth win in five Rivalry Series games.
Erin Ambrose was penalized for tripping late in the 3rd that carried into the overtime. Off an offensive zone faceoff, Bozek pounded a one-timer that Lacasse stopped most of but, it snuck through her and trickled towards the goal. Lacasse reached back and swept the puck away as all three Canadian defenders dove to keep the puck from crossing the line.
Jocelyne Larocque also had Alex Carpenter tied up in front. Megan Keller found the loose puck and swung it back to Bozek who took advantage of Lacasse out of position to end it.
Marie-Philip Poulin did not play Saturday because of a leg injury she suffered in Game 4. Jessie Eldridge was given a boost in the lineup, sliding in alongside Blayre Turnbull and Mélodie Daoust.
Eldgridge was noticeably contributing on both sides of the puck, creating turnovers and preventing American scoring chances. She broke up a pass in front to Amanda Kessel that could have been the game-winning goal late in the 3rd.
The 1st period saw four goals and continued offensive zone dominance by the United States. Hilary Knight tipped a Bozek point shot just over two and a half minutes in to put the Americans up early.
The Americans continued to dominate early, so Team Canada took a timeout to recollect and try a soft restart. It obviously worked because, off the draw, Victoria Bach broke into the zone and shoveled a pass over to Rebecca Johnston. From the corner, Johnston found Jill Saulnier in front who stopped it with her left skate, kicked it to her stick, and fired it past Alex Cavallini, all in full stride.
The USA continued to control possession throughout the period until Loren Gabel carried the puck down the left wing on a 2-on-1 and wired an open look that squeaked underneath Cavallini’s glove arm to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
Just two minutes later however, Dani Cameranesi sniped on Lacasse from the short side to tie the game back up at two with two and a half minutes to play in the first.
The 2nd period saw many penalties and much less scoring though. Six in total were called, three aside, while Daoust got the lone goal just under three minutes into the frame to give Canada a 3-2 lead. Eldridge found Daoust all alone in front for her first point representing Canada.
The Americans hit multiple posts and Lacasse continued to make massive saves but, as the period came to an end, Eldridge and Cameranesi got tangled up in the area between the benches. That drew a crowd, some pushing and shoving, and three penalties.
Midway through the 3rd period, USA had Canada hemmed in their own zone once again and Emily Matheson blasted a shot that ricocheted off both Annie Pankowski and Monique Lamoureux-Morando and past Lacasse to tie the game at three.
At 13, 320, it was the highest attendance for any women’s game in the United States. The USA also hoisted the first Rivalry Series trophy, a new addition to the competition for the 2019/2020 series.
Most of these players will return home to continue training for the upcoming World Championships in May and the next PWHPA Dream Gap Tour event in Philadelphia February 29-March 1.