Canada’s women’s hockey team falls to Hughes-led U.S. in Rivalry Series

Gabbie Hughes scored twice and the United States women’s national hockey team improved to 2-0 in its Rivalry Series with a 5-2 win over Canada on Saturday.

Britta Curl scored the go-ahead goal off a turnover midway through the second period in a game the Americans never trailed. Alex Carpenter had a goal and assist, Hilary Knight set up two goals and Hannah Bilka also scored as the U.S. followed up its series-opening 3-1 win at Tempe, Arizona, on Wednesday.

Nicole Hensley stopped 23 shots for the defending world champions in a game played at Los Angeles.

Laura Stacey, with a shorthanded goal, and Jamie Lee Rattray scored, and Kristen Campbell stopped 19 shots for Canada, which has yet to hold a lead in a seven-game series which shifts to Canada. The teams next meet in in Kitchener, Ont., on Dec. 14.

The Americans now enjoy a three-game winning streak over their cross-border rivals dating to a 6-3 win in the gold-medal game of the women’s world championships in April. The Rivalry Series is a lead up to the world championships, which will be held in Utica, New York, from April 3-14.

The U.S. is dominating the series so far despite featuring a younger roster that includes 10 college players. Canada’s roster features just two players still in college.

With the game tied at 1, Canadian defender Sophie Jaques’ pass through the middle of her own zone was intercepted by Curl, who stepped toward the net and had her shot get a piece of Campbell, with the puck trickling inside the right post with 8:09 left in the second period.

Another Jaques’ turnover in her own zone led to Bilka scoring four minutes later. U.S. forward Tessa Janecke tracked down a loose puck behind the Canadian net and had her centring pass deflect off Jaques and directly to Bilka, who stuffed it in the open right side.

The 23-year-old Jaques was making her Canadian national team debut, following her senior season at Ohio State where she was college women’s hockey’s top player in winning the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award last season.

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Hughes’ power-play goal 3:19 into the third period secured the win, coming 42 seconds after Rattray cut the Americans’ lead to 3-2.

Wisconsin sophomore Laila Edwards became the first Black player to appear in a game for the U.S. women’s national hockey team. From Cleveland, the 19-year-old Edwards has risen up USA Hockey’s ranks and was named MVP at the Under-18 world championships in June, when the Americans won a silver medal.

Canadian defender Erin Ambrose did not return after hurting her right leg in the second period.

WATCH l U.S. defeats Canada to open Rivalry Series:

Canada falls to United States in opening game of Rivalry Series

Featured VideoUnited States beats Canada 3-1 in the opener of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series. Hilary Knight records a goal and an assist.

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