2024 IIHF Women's World Championship - Gold Medal Game
- 7 min read

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship - Gold Medal Game

2024 IIHF Women's World Championship - Gold Medal Game by Melissa Burgess

Canada 6, United States 5 (OT)

Whenever Canada and the United States get together in women's hockey, you know it's going to be a treat. Sunday's gold medal game at the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championships was no exception, but I don't think anyone could've predicted such a wild, back-and-forth, high-scoring affair. With a 6-5 final in overtime, this was the second-highest scoring gold medal game in Women's Worlds history. Only the 2015 final, a 7-5 decision, featured more goals.

A packed barn in Utica got to truly experience every high and low of the game. Fans from both teams – I'd say it was about 70 percent USA fans – were loud and energetic and certainly spent more time on the edge of their seats than anything else. It's the best kind of atmosphere you can imagine: chaotic, frenetic energy, back-and-forth offense, and an overall incredible show of skill from both teams.

Twenty-two different players recorded at least a point. Danielle Serdachny's game-winning goal was almost an identical replay of Hilary Knight's goal earlier in the game. Laila Edwards continues to shine. Overall, these teams are exactly as talented as we already knew they were. With that much scoring, here's a quick rundown of how it all went:

  • P1, 6:32 - Canada goes up 1-0. Erin Ambrose kept in a clearing attempt at the blue line & threw a long shot at the net. It looked like it was tipped in front.
  • P1, 8:12 - Laila Edwards picked the top corner on a seeing-eye shot to tie it.
  • P2, 3:08 - Julia Gosling gets the puck in the neutral zone, takes it up the ice and her shot slides under Aerin Frankel's leg as she's moving.
  • P2, 10:10 - Megan Keller throws a shot at the net after a nifty cross-ice pass from Hannah Bilka. The puck bobbles a bit, drops & rolls in.
  • P2, 16:32 - Alex Carpenter scores off a pass from Kendall Coyne Schofield behind the net.
  • P2, 18:58 - Marie-Philip Poulin shoots it high through a crowd to tie it at 3.
  • P3, 8:56 - Hilary Knight scores on a backhand in front on the power play, with Poulin in the box for an illegal hit.
  • P3, 10:46 - Emily Clark banks the puck in off Caroline Harvey's skate in front.
  • P3, 12:19 - Poulin scores on the doorstep, capitalizing on a rebound.
  • P3, 14:58 - Harvey ties it with a shot from the point.
  • OT1, 3:17 - USA is called for too many players on the ice.
  • OT1, 5:16 - With two seconds left on the power play, Danielle Serdachny scores on the exact same sort of play that Knight's earlier goal came on - a spin-around, backhand in front of the net.

Serdachny's goal returns the Women's Worlds gold medal to Canada, after the United States won it last year with a 6-3 victory in the final. Canada has now captured 13 gold medals in Worlds history since 1990 and three in the last four years.

What We Learned

  • Wow. Just... wow. Several players from both teams who spoke after the game seemed to agree that it was one of, if not the, craziest games they've ever been a part of. Going into this game, you know it's going to be a good one, but I'll be honest – even with all the offensive stars these teams have, I would never have imagined so many goals. Ann-RenΓ©e Desbiens & Aerin Frankel are two of the best goaltenders in the world, these teams both have incredible defense, and you just don't expect that many to make it through. That many goals, plus the constant back-and-forth, just made it that much more thrilling.
  • Don't take a penalty in OT – As soon as the USA penalty was announced, I said to myself, this is it. The 3-on-3 overtime is already such a challenge, but to make it a 4-on-3 power play adds another layer. To their credit, USA did a good job of mostly killing it off, between blocking shots, Frankel's saves and getting it out of the zone, but in the end, it made a difference.
  • The kids are alright – Both of these teams have such incredible depth, and while much of the focus during the tournament was on the youth movement happening on the US national team, one of Canada's younger players won them the gold medal. Look to players like Laila Edwards (8 points, age 20), Caroline Harvey (10 points, age 21), Taylor Heise (7 points, age 24), Tessa Janecke (age 19), Hannah Bilka (age 23) & Kirsten Simms (age 19) for the US. For Canada, keep an eye on Serdachny (age 22), Julia Gosling (age 23) & Sarah Fillier (age 23) as their younger cohort. Overall, the US was a much younger team (average age: 24), and it's likely we'll see the majority of these players from both teams back again.

Standout Performances

I'm going to be completely honest with you here. I have no idea how to pick any player as a standout performance in such a high-scoring game that saw 22 players record at least a point.

Canada F Marie-Philip Poulin had two goals in the gold medal game - her first goals of the tournament. She finished the tournament with four points in seven games. Canada D Renata Fast led all skaters in ice time, playing 29:59 (including 2:28 in overtime). She also had one assist, two shots on goal and was a plus-2 after playing nearly half of each of the first two periods. And of course, Canada F Danielle Serdachny had the game-winning goal, three shots and was a plus-2 despite playing only 11:12. She played 1:38 in overtime.

United States D Caroline Harvey was named the team's best player of the game; she recorded two points (1G, 1A) and three shots on goal in 27:20. United States F Laila Edwards had a goal and an assist, just one day after recording a hat trick in the semifinal. She was named the tournament MVP by media. United States G Aerin Frankel stopped 24 of 30 shots faced in 65:16.


"I know a lot of people talk about the age of our team, but I think that's when the experience kicks in and the comfortability of playing in those tough games... emotionally, it probably doesn't impact them that much." – Canada head coach Troy Ryan

"I think Ambrose took a shot. I was just trying to get in front... I think it hit me in the thigh, and then obviously the rebound was there and I just tapped it in. Pretty special one." – Danielle Serdachny on her gold medal-winning goal

"We had probably five or six concepts that I thought we tried to play, and I thought our team did an excellent job of just sticking to those things that made us successful. I think in any games, even when they would come back with a quick one, we just always thought that if we just play the right way... I loved our first period. I thought our second period, we let the emotions of the game maybe get the best of us." – Ryan

"Pou will always find a way to be a difference-maker. I think without that goal late in the second period, it's a different hockey game. After them really taking it to us for the better part of that period, for her to come up with that goal at that time, we go into the dressing room not feeling so bad about ourselves, and that's what she does." – Ryan

"My dad was just in the back of my mind, saying, it's never bad to get pucks on net. Sometimes, the hockey gods treat you once in awhile. I knew that we had people at the net, so I just thought I'd throw it at the net and obviously happy to see it cross the goal line." – Emily Clark on her goal

"Sudden-death OT is down to a bounce. Obviously, I'd love to play it out, sort of the glory days, five-on-five, but that's just now how it's performed at this level. Three-on-three is an extremely skilled game. It opens up the ice a lot for different mistakes, and unfortunately we made a mistake at the wrong time. We had two seconds on the clock with the kill. Hats off to our penalty killers, who have been absolutely outstanding all tournament. It really stings not to be able to get over the hump for this one." – Hilary Knight

"It was almost a mirror image of Knight's goal. We were very frustrated on giving up that goal; we thought we could've had that power play goal and I guess that's the hockey gods giving us one back." – Ryan on Serdachny's game-winning goal

"It's a fun game. The stakes are extremely high, and these are the best competitors and that's something we dream of, having those high stakes and the back-and-forth and and the battles. I couldn't be more proud of our group, how we performed tonight." – Knight

"In between periods, I said I'd love to be a fan, sitting up there, having a beer, watching this one. It's back and forth. It's exciting. To some extent, you almost as a coach, you've just got to step back and you're just letting it unfold. All the talks and conversations and video sessions we can have, we're done. The emotions get the best of them; just nice we came out on top." – Ryan

"The rivalry [between USA and Canada] is obviously amazing. I think it's just pure passion on both sides, and that's credit to the 23 people on each side. We've been pushing the game, year after year, and it's been in new heights this season. What an amazing world championship final to cap off and complement the amazing year it's been for women's hockey." – Clark

"I'm just taking things one by one – NCAA and then now, the World Championships... what they've got with the PWHL is pretty special, so if I'm one of the players drafted and get to play there, that'd be pretty special for me." β€”Serdachny

"Women's hockey's in an unbelievable position. It's super fun to be a part of it at this stage, obviously on the shoulders of many, many, many women that came before us. It's just outstanding, the speed, the skill and how dynamic the game is. I'm really excited for the future of the game." – Knight

(Photo: IIHF)