USA downs Canada, captures Women’s World Championship on OT goal by Alex Carpenter

USA captured its third-straight Women’s World Championship on the strength of an OT goal by Alex Carpenter, and Canada was left with a third-straight silver medal. American goaltender Alex Rigsby stopped all 32 shots she faced for a shutout in the gold medal game.

For the third-consecutive year, Team USA has captured gold at the Women’s World Championship and it was NCAA standout Alex Carpenter who sealed the deal with the championship-winning goal coming on a scrambled play shortly after the midway mark of the first overtime in front out of a sold-out Canadian crowd.

Shortly after a Canadian penalty ended, the Americans worked the puck around the offensive zone before a shot came from the blueline from Megan Bozek. The shot was deflected on the way in, bounced off the post and sat in the crease behind Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer. Carpenter, the first overall pick in the 2015 NWHL draft, knocked the puck home before Maschmeyer could turn to cover the initial shot,.

“The building just got pretty quiet,” Carpenter told the IIHF’s Lucas Aykroyd of the game-winner. “I wasn’t really sure if it went in. But I was right there – I watched myself put it in. I wasn’t sure if [Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s] original shot went in. But regardless, it went in and that’s what counted.”

That the contest ended with a one-goal margin isn’t incredibly surprising given the way the US and Canadian teams have played each other over the past several seasons, but the 1-0 scoreline is lower scoring than many would have expected, especially with the firepower on both sides of the ice. Maschmeyer, who was named the tournament’s top goaltender, made 33 saves in the contest, but American counterpart Alex Rigsby picked up the victory by notching a 32-save shutout.

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“My main objective going into the game was just to make sure I took it one shot at a time,” Rigsby told Aykroyd. “Someone gave me that advice recently and it helped a ton.”

Neither team was able to capitalize on any of their power play chances in the contest, but the Canadians will likely be regretting their missed opportunities on two man advantages in overtime. All told, Canada went 0-for-6 on the power play, while it was the tail end of a USA man advantage that led to the game-winning goal.

For Canada, Carpenter’s goal signalled heartbreak for the third consecutive World Championship in what was the 17th-straight meeting between the Americans and Canadians in the gold medal game of the tournament. Add in the loss at the 4 Nations Cup in November and Canada has dropped three consecutive gold medal games to the US, beginning with the 2015 World Championship.

“It really hurts,” Canada’s captain, Marie-Philip Poulin, told Aykroyd. “Every time you work so hard for something and you get silver, that’s hard.”

The loss likely hurt that much more coming in front of Canadian faithful in Kamloops, B.C., but Canada will have a chance to repay that heartache to the Americans at the 2017 World Championship in Plymouth, Mich., in what will be one of the final tuneups for the Canadian and American teams ahead of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.