2024 Worlds Recap: Simms' First Goal Powers Team USA Over Canada in Overtime Thriller

The USA-Canada rivalry stays red-hot as Team USA snatched last night's overtime win.

2024 Worlds Recap: Simms' First Goal Powers Team USA Over Canada in Overtime Thriller
Kirsten Simms celebrates her overtime winner against Canada. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

The United States stayed undefeated at the 2024 Worlds and secured the top seed heading into the knockout rounds by besting Canada 1-0 in overtime in a classic rivalry game.

The first nine seconds set the tone. Canada's Renata Fast hit Kendall Coyne Schofield, who was hunting down the puck in the offensive zone, and there was no call on the ice. The refs would let them play, which means a fast, physical game.

Team USA came out on fire, with several nice looks early. Canada did not land their first shot on goal until 6:55. At that point, the U.S. was outshooting them 4-0.

Canada started getting a few more looks, but none were overly dangerous. Meanwhile, the U.S. continued to get chances, although they weren’t all high-quality either. Regardless, Canadian goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens was stellar to keep the game scoreless.

The first penalties of the game came at 14:24 when Ella Shelton cross-checked Abbey Murphy behind the net. However, Hayley Scamurra gave Shelton a shove after, which earned her a roughing call, so both went to the box, and play remained at 5v5. 

The U.S. got some of the best chances of the period with under five minutes remaining, but Desbiens continued to make outstanding saves.

Desbiens squeeze her pads together to make a save on her knee. Her arms are pinned to her sides. Shelton is off to the side facing her. Both are in white and red Canada uniforms.
Ann Renée Desbiens makes a save against the United States. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

Canada also made some great defensive plays. With the period winding down, Nicole Gosling accidentally left the puck behind while skating out of her zone, and Scamurra quickly jumped on it. However, Canadian defender Ashton Bell made a great backcheck to catch her before she took a shot.

The first period ended scoreless, with the U.S. doubling Canada’s shot total, 12-6.

However, it was Canada that started the second period strong. They had a couple of great chances in the first 30 seconds, including one where Captain Clutch herself, Marie-Philip Poulin, nearly got a shot at an open net. Luckily for the Americans, Alex Carpenter got her stick on the puck and cleared it out of danger before Poulin reached it. The U.S. did not register a shot on goal until the 3:16 mark, at which point Canada was outshooting them 4-0.

The U.S. got the game’s first power play over six minutes in when Danielle Serdachny was called for an illegal hit. It was along the boards and a deserved penalty, but they were letting a lot of similar open-ice stuff go so you could sense frustration from the Canadians at the call. The U.S. got a few attempts on the power play, but couldn’t land any shots as the Canadian penalty kill stayed perfect this tournament.

Just 21 seconds after Serdachny exited the box, Jocelyne Larocque went in, also for an illegal hit. This power play featured a lot more excitement. American forward Taylor Heise sent a shot through traffic 23 seconds in, and Hannah Bilka was there waiting for the rebound. However, Desbiens robbed her with a phenomenal glove save.

Fast and Laura Stacey later got a shorthanded chance, with Fast feeding Stacey in alone. However, Aerin Frankel went for an aggressive poke check, and despite missing, she gobbled up the puck with one of her best saves of the game. 

Frankel makes a save from the butterfly position. Her hands are in front of her, and the puck is next to her left leg. Her stick is caught up with Stacey, who is going past Frankel to her right after taking the shot. Frankel is in blue, while Stacey is in white.
Aerin Frankel makes a save shorthanded on Laura Stacey. Photo courtesy of the IIHF.

Canada continued their surge after killing off both penalties and got several great looks, but Frankel was ready. 

Canada got their first power play with under three remaining, with Kirsten Simms going for hooking. Like the first U.S. power play, Canada got some looks but didn’t record a shot. They then got four seconds of a 5v3 to end their first opportunity, as Scamurra sailed an on-edge puck over the glass while trying to make a clear. 

Canada’s second power play opportunity was like the first, and they did not land another shot before the second period ended scoreless, with the U.S. holding a slight 18-17 shot advantage.

The U.S. started the third with another 1:21 left to kill. They then took back over for a few minutes and got several high-quality chances, but they couldn’t sneak one past Desbiens. The teams then traded chances for a while, but both goaltenders stood tall.

The Canadians got the period’s only power play with under five minutes when Hannah Bilka went for an illegal hit. It was an interesting call to make at that stage, as it seemed as though Bilka and Fast just sort of came together, and if anything, they both should have gone. Luckily, the U.S. was able to kill it off while also getting a great shorthanded chance.

Both teams got some great chances in the final minutes, but as with any good USA-Canada game, 60 minutes was not enough to decide this one. To overtime, we went for the first time in Group A at the 2024 Worlds.

The overtime was all Team USA. They got some absurd chances in the first minute alone, but somehow, Desbiens kept them all out. 

Finally, it was a controversial play that ended the game. Brianne Jenner fell while carrying the puck, and it appeared Caroline Harvey tripped her. However, Jenner appeared to already be losing an edge, and Harvey's stick, if it made contact, didn’t fully cause it. So, that is likely why the ref, who was right there, let it go. All told it's both a tough call to make and let go at that point in the game, and regardless, it’s unfortunate that it led to the game-winning goal.

After Jenner went down, Harvey pounced on the puck and headed down the other end 3v1 against Poulin. She passed it over to Simms, who recognized that Poulin was screening Desbiens and she may not see a low shot coming. So, she sent it right between Desbiens pads for her first goal at a senior world championship to secure the U.S. victory.

Overall, this game is everything you could’ve hoped for in a USA-Canada matchup. It was fast and physical, and despite being scoreless until the overtime winner, it was thrilling. There’s simply nothing like this rivalry. Should these two teams survive the first two knockout rounds to meet again this weekend for a medal, it’s sure to be a barnburner.

Per the USA Hockey website, the United States will play in the 8:30 p.m. EDT quarterfinal game on Thursday. However, per the schedule on the IIHF website, no games have been assigned, so keep an eye on that for confirmation. Their opponent is TBD but is narrowed down to China, Denmark, or Japan. Canada is also back in action on Thursday with a matchup against Sweden.