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2022 Olympics: Canada beats USA, 4-2, in preliminary game

Despite a slow start, and early back-and-forth, Canada takes this one and remains undefeated

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 4 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

USA falls to Canada, 4-2

Group A

Goal Scorers

USA: Dani Cameranesi, Alex Carpenter
Canada: Brianne Jenner (2), Jamie Lee Rattray, Marie-Philip Poulin

The most anticipated game of this tournament, the projected gold medal game yet again, went off with a few more hitches than either team likely anticipated. A USA team without Brianna Decker, and a Canada team without Mélodie Daoust, who had to play their game against ROC last night in masks faced off for the first time since Team Canada took the Rivalry Series title in 2021.

Despite what both of these teams have managed to do in every game so far, the first period remained scoreless until 14 minutes in when Brianne Jenner got the first goal. Assisted by Sarah Fillier, and Marie-Philip Poulin, Canada got one by Maddie Rooney despite a strong defensive effort by Team USA early on.

At the end of the first period, USA was favored in shots 16-5, despite the lone goal coming from the other team.

The second period is when things seemed to turn up a notch. USA got on the board with a game-tying goal from Dani Cameranesi, assisted by Barnes and Pannek. Just two minutes later, Alex Carpenter gave USA the 2-1 lead.

Brianne Jenner got her second of the game just thirty seconds later, and then Jamie Lee Rattray added on another to put Canada up by one again.

Then things got really interesting. Marie-Philip Poulin caught a slight breakaway, and once Cayla Barnes attempted to throw her off, she was called for slashing effectively giving ‘Captain Clutch,’ a penalty shot against the very goaltender that denied her in the shootout four years ago.

This time successful, Poulin made the score 4-2 which is how the second period would end. The Canadians held a lot more of the momentum late in the second period and were able to tie up the shots on goal from their lopsided nature after the first.

Both teams seemed to settle down again early in the third period, having a nice back and forth without penalties for the first ten minutes. At the halfway point, however, USA got their fifth consecutive chance on the power play after an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Rebecca Johnston. The Americans could not capitalize despite heavily putting the pressure on during the power play.

With just two and a half minutes left, Canada took yet another penalty. In addition, USA pulled their goalie, choosing to play 6-on-4 for two minutes. Ultimately this was no help to them as they failed to score with the two-player advantage. Canada simply looked unstoppable, blocking everything that came their way.

In the end, USA had a ton of chances. With 53 shots, they had almost double the amount of Team Canada, who simply were able to capitalize on their opportunities better.

This leaves Canada as the only undefeated team, and the top seed in Group A heading out of the group stage and into eliminations, and the United States the second seed there, this being their only loss.