The year is 2058. Team Canada and Team USA are heading to overtime for the 455th time in hockey history. A 69-year old Hilary Knight scores the game winning goal with a one-timer from the top of the circle.
Okay back to the present day. In Game 3 of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series we got yet another overtime thriller between Canada and the United States. The game started off with Kitchener’s own, Loren Gabel who was playing in her first game with Team Canada in over a year joining Team USA’s captain, Hilary Knight for the ceremonial face-off in front of a packed house at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Heading into tonight’s contest, Canada was down 2-0 in the series after dropping two games in Tempe and Los Angeles. Ann-Renée Desbiens, who missed the first two games due to injury, was back between the pipes for Canada.
Canada rostered an all-college fourth line with Julia Gosling (St. Lawrence) centering Jennifer Gardiner (Ohio State) and Danielle Serdachny (Colgate). In one of their first shifts of the game, the kids struck first for Canada as Danielle Serdachny went bar-down on Aerin Frankel to put the home team up 1-0 at the 12:24 mark of the first. Julia Gosling was awarded the primary assist which would end up being her first career Team Canada point!
It was a good day to make your National Team debut. With 3:50 remaining in the first period, Kristen Simms out of Wisconsin found herself alone in the offensive zone with 4 Canadian players. The youngster cut past Nicole Gosling and beat Desbiens blocker side to score a beautiful first career Team USA goal.
Just 63 seconds after Simms tied the game up at one, Abbey Murphy out of Minnesota tucked one past Desbiens through a screen to give Team USA their first lead of the game late in the first. When the first period came to a close, Americans led the way in the shot department 12-8.
With 13:02 remaining in the second period the Canadians evened the score up once again with what I’m going to call a “gritty goal”. PWHL Ottawa’s Emily Clark found the loose puck in the US crease and buried it to bring us even.
The rest of the second period felt like the ice was tilted Canada’s way but Clark’s goal would be the only one in the period. Team Canada outshot the U.S. 13-4 in the second period.
Like most Canada vs. USA games, the spice levels were off the charts. Lots of back and forth pushing, shoving and hitting for both squads. A couple of power-plays were shared on both sides but both goalies stood tall. With 22 seconds remaining in regulation Emily Clark was called for roughing, giving the Americans a massive opportunity to seal the game.
For the 10th time in their last 28 meetings, Canada and the U.S. would need overtime to solve this one. The Americans started the overtime period with 97 seconds of a 4-on-3 power play.
It took her 26 seconds to do something she has done 10 times in her last 12 games against Canada. Hilary Knight ripped a beautiful one-timer past Desbiens to secure the victory for Team USA.
Team Canada will look for redemption and another reverse Rivalry Series sweep as they head to Sarnia for Game 4 down 3-0 in the series. Click here for the full 2023/24 Rivalry Series schedule.