The Canadian Women's National Team swept the first pair of games against their American counterparts as the My Why Tour hit Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 22 (3-1) and Hartford, Connecticut on October 25 (3-2). Canada's Sarah Fillier was easily the best player on either team in the two-game series, as she scored three goals, including the game-winning tally in the second matchup.
Game 1: Allentown
Team USA had its chances early on, but it would be Canada striking first, with Fillier scoring her first goal of the series on a power-play tally with about six minutes to play in the opening frame. Despite being down by a goal, the Americans mostly held control of the game through the second period & allowed only one shot on goal through much of the frame.
A power play opportunity of their own allowed the Americans to tie the game on a goal from Hayley Scamurra, who capitalized on a rebound in front of the net after a shot from Caroline Harvey.
Emily Clark scored twice in the third period to secure the 3-1 win for Canada. Her first of the evening came about five minutes into the period off a pass from Ella Shelton near the faceoff circle to Alex Cavallini's left, and she added a late, shorthanded empty-netter in the dying seconds of the game.
Cavallini stopped 16 of 18 shots faced, while Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 28 of 29.
Game 2: Hartford
Canada got off to a strong start, with Victoria Bach opening the scoring just 36 seconds into the game with a quick shot from the slot over the shoulder of netminder Nicole Hensley. Minutes later, Fillier doubled the lead off a pass from Natalie Spooner on the right side.
While Canada was up 2-0, the United States hadn't even recorded a shot on goal. Although they did get some zone time, they didn’t manage to register their first shot on goal until over six and a half minutes in; after that, they went almost three minutes before recording another.
Progressively, things did get a little better for the Americans, as Cayla Barnes put her team on the board with a power play goal with less than eight minutes left in the first period. Amanda Kessel tied the game in the opening minutes of the second period on a goal from the slot, and the United States began to gain control of the game.
A series of great defensive plays early in the third period kept the game tied, with Hensley making several impressive saves and Lee Stecklein making a big backcheck on Spooner on a breakaway. But to no surprise, it was Fillier who broke the stalemate, capitalizing on a juicy rebound on the left side of the net and taking advantage of a sprawling Hensley to make it a 3-2 game on the power play.
Barnes, Fillier, and Marie-Philip Poulin each recorded two points. Ann-Renée Desbiens stopped 18 of 20 shots faced, while Hensley stopped 17 of 20.
The United States was originally scheduled to head overseas to Belfast, Northern Ireland for a three-game series with Russia, but per Team USA, Russia backed out, leaving the Americans with a long gap before their next scheduled action.
The upcoming schedule for Team Canada is as follows:
- Friday, October 29 vs. Olds Grizzlys
- Wednesday, November 3 vs. Camrose Kodiaks
- Thursday, November 11 vs. Finland
- Saturday, November 13 vs. Finland
- Sunday, November 14 vs. Finland
Team USA and Team Canada resume their My Why Tour schedule on November 21 in Kingston, Ontario and will play each other at least five more times before the Olympics in Beijing, including a televised tilt in primetime on NBCSN. That game will take place on December 20 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
(Photo: Hockey Canada)