All of the NWHL was off, and all but two of the CWHL’s teams were off for the Four Nations break. So this installment of the Weekend Update is going to look a bit different.
Gold Medal Game
USA won gold at Four Nations on Saturday night, beating Canada handily 5-2.
Four different US players scored in the game: Hilary Knight, Melissa Samoskevich, Brianna Decker, and Kendall Coyne Schofield. Knight led the way with two goals.
Laura Fortino and Jaime Bourbonnais scored Canada’s goals.
Canada started Shannon Szabados, but — possibly for the first time in a major tournament — she was pulled in the third period for Emerance Maschmeyer.
The US didn’t lose a single game the whole (short) tournament. They finished with +12 goal differential, only allowing five goals in four games.
Canada lost two games in the tournament — both to the US. They allowed eight goals in their four games. However, six of those goals were to the US. The other two goals allowed by Canadian netminders came from the sticks of Swedish players in the first game of the tournament.
Bronze Medal Game
Finland won bronze, beating Sweden, 4-2.
The teams traded goals for the first and second period — with Sweden striking first. Going into the third period, the score was tied 2-2, leaving the door open for Sweden to upset Finland for their first bronze at Four Nations since 2015. But Finland turned it on in the third period, scoring three goals in the first half of the final frame.
Finland was hit the hardest by stomach issues (be it the flu or food-related sickness) throughout the tournament. Their opening game saw them without many of their star players. Michelle Karvinen played just one game in the tournament.
Tuesday, Nov. 6
USA: 5 - Finland: 1
Canada: 6 - Sweden: 2
The first day of Four Nations went about as expected with the North American teams re-establishing themselves as the team to beat.
Wednesday, Nov. 7
Finland: 3 - Sweden: 2
Sweden almost came back to win this game after scoring two quick goals towards the end of the third period.
Canada: 1 - USA: 2
In the first match up since the Olympics, USA topped Canada on a game winning goal by rookie forward Sydney Brodt. She’s one to watch for sure.
Canada’s loss set up a big game for Friday night. Canada and Finland both had one win and two loses. But Finland was playing with an extremely short bench, after getting hit the hardest by a stomach illness that plagued multiple teams.
Friday, Nov. 9
USA: 5 - Sweden: 1
The only way this game would have mattered is if Sweden had won. With two wins, the US had basically secured their place in the gold medal game. Bob Corkum started St. Cloud State sophomore Emma Polusny.
Canada: 3 - Finland: 0
Canada topped Finland to set up another Canada and US final game.
Tuesday, Nov. 06
KRS Vanke Rays beat Worcester Blades in China, 6-0
- KRS Vanke Rays: Leah Lum, Rachel Llanes, Hannah Miller, Madison Woo, Emma Woods (2)
- Blades: n/a
Friday, Nov. 09
KRS Vanke Rays beat Worcester Blades in China, 4-1
- KRS Vanke Rays: Hannah Bunton, Michelle Ng, Alex Carpenter, Cayley Mercer
- Blades: Meghan Grieves
Saturday, Nov. 10
KRS Vanke Rays beat Worcester Blades in China, 10-1
- KRS Vanke Rays: Alex Carpenter (2), Cayley Mercer, Stephanie Anderson (2), Hanna Bunton, Hannah Miller (2), Rachel Llanes, Lu Wen
- Blades: Erin Kickham
Oof. The Blades had a rough trip to China allowing 20 goals while only scoring two. Lauren Dahm got her first start of the season in Friday’s game. In both games where the Blades scored, they struck first. Grieves and Kickham’s goal are the first goals for the Blades not scored by Casey Stathopoulos as well.
With Noora Räty gone at Four Nations, Kimberly Newell started all three games. Yuqing Wang saw playing time in the third period of Saturday’s game, the first time she’s played all season.
The Markham Thunder are on their way to China next. The Blades host Les Canadiennes next weekend.