April 25, 2011

Knight, U.S. beat Canada for women's world title

Hilary Knight (Hanover, N.H.) (photo: Getty Images)

ZURICH, Switzerland — The U.S. Women’s National Team won its third consecutive world title with a 3-2 overtime victory against Canada on Monday at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship at Hallenstadion.

Hilary Knight (Hanover, N.H.) scored the game-winning goal at 7:48 of overtime, while Jessie Vetter made 51 saves in the championship-winning effort.

Team USA finished the tournament unbeaten in five games to capture the gold medal for the fourth time in the past five world championships.

“I am so thrilled for the players,” said Team USA head coach Katey Stone (Watertown, Conn.). “They’ve worked extremely hard and bought into everything we were trying to accomplish. They played their hearts out. What an awesome night.”

After skating to a scoreless draw for the majority of the first period, the teams traded goals in the closing minutes for a 1-1 score at the first intermission. Jocelyne Lamoureux put the United States on the board at 16:56 after connecting on a give-and-go play with her twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. With just eight seconds to go in the period, however, Canada’s Gillian Apps fired a slap shot under the crossbar to knot the game.

Jenny Potter scored the lone goal of a tightly contested second period to put Team USA back ahead, 2-1. Splitting a pair of Canadian players, she hit the top right corner of the net with a backhanded shot at 12:05.

While on the power play late in the third period, Canada tied the game on a Rebecca Johnston goal at 16:04 to force overtime.

But Knight scored the championship-winning goal 7:48 into the four-on-four sudden-death overtime session to seal the victory for Team USA.

 NOTES: Kelli Stack (Boston College) was named the U.S. Player of the Game. … Canada held the 53-50 edge in shots. … The United State was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Canada was 1-for-4. … Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was selected as the top forward of the tournament by the directorate. … Knight and Caitlin Cahow (Branford, Conn.) were selected to the media all-star team. … Knight was the tournament’s leading scorer with 14 points (5-9), while Brianna Decker was second overall with 11 points (4-7). … Team USA had captured three gold medals (2005, 2008, 2009) and nine silvers (1990, 1992, 1994,1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007) in the 12 previous IIHF World Women’s Championships.