Jaime Lee Rattray scored the game winner and added an assist to lead Team Canada to a 4-3 win over Team USA, evening up the Rivalry Series at one game apiece in women’s hockey international play on Thursday night in Toronto.
Canada was forced to rebound after dropping the opener Tuesday night in London 1-0, where American goaltender Alex Rigsby had a 33 save shutout performance.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored the opener in game two at the Scotia Bank Arena and added an assist for Canada, Laura Fortino and Brianne Jenner also scored.
After allowing two goals on seven shots in the first period, Canadian goaltender Genevieve Lacasse shut the door giving up one goal the rest of the way.
Alex Carpenter, Hannah Brandt, and Brianna Decker were the goal scorers for the United States.
The deciding game of the series goes Sunday afternoon in Detroit.
Americans jump out early
With three seconds remaining on the power play, Carpenter fired a wrist shot top corner past Lacasse to give the United States a 1-0 lead at 7:03 of the first period.
Team Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin evened up the game 1-1 after firing one into the open net past Katie Burt on a great cross-ice feed from Laura Stacey.
Down again 2-1, Team Canada goes on the power play following a roughing penalty to Brianna Decker at 12:19 in the opening frame.
The Canadians would tie the game 2-2 after a great one time pass from defenceman Erin Ambrose that set up Laura Fortino for the power-play goal at 13:13.
Canada would remain perfect on the power play scoring the go-ahead goal in the final minute of the first after a scramble in front. Brianne Jenner found a way to put away the rebound set up by Natalie Spooner.
A more forceful attack from the start compared to the opener of the series led Canada to a 14-5 shot advantage after the first generating high quality scoring chances.
Canada continued their strong play in the second period outshooting the Americans 23-12 after two periods but was unable to capitalize on the score sheet and maintained a one goal lead.
Undisciplined play from the United States factored in to Team Canada’s success as the Americans totaled six penalties through the first two periods.
Rattray’s game winner at 7:06 of the third came after a great cross-ice feed from right-winger Laura Stacey that started with Blayre Turnbull that allowed the Kanata native to fire one past Burt.
Having not beaten the Americans in a tournament final since Vancouver 2010, Canada’s win is a step in the right direction following a run of United States’ dominance.
Team USA has won the last seven out of eight world championships including four straight and a 3-2 Olympic final shootout win over the Canadians in PyeongChang 2018.
The final game of the series Sunday in Detroit will decide the series as Canada will look to gain momentum for the World Championships coming up April 4-14 in Espoo, Finland.