For a moment, it looked like a deadlock heading toward the end of the third period of the Women's World Championship gold medal game. Business as usual. Team USA and Team Canada, two women's hockey superpowers, tied at three a side.
And then, with just around three minutes to go in regulation, Hilary Knight happened.
The American captain and veteran forward struck twice on the power play, tallying her 100th and 101st points and completing a hat trick to propel the United States to a 6-3 win in Brampton, Ont., and securing their first Worlds gold medal since 2019. The game winner was a bullseye right down the middle that found its way past the toe of Ann-Renee Desbiens to give the Americans their first and only lead – and the only one they needed.
Canada had gotten on the board first with a power-play goal from their own captain, Marie-Philip Poulin, in the first period. But the U.S. kept chipping away, tying things up on a goal from Abbey Murphy, then erasing 2-1 and 3-2 deficits off goals from Knight and Caroline Harvey, before Knight put things away for good. Aerin Frankel withstood the heat in her first gold-medal game appearance, making 24 saves.
Canada's Brianne Jenner did everything she could with two goals and an assist of her own, but a very ill-timed parade to the penalty box sealed the Canadians' fate. The Americans owned the top power play in the tournament and they made short work of every opportunity they were given in the third. Desbiens finished the game with 16 saves on 21 shots against, as the final United States goal was an empty netter from Cayla Barnes with less than two minutes remaining.
The U.S. improves to 10 gold medals overall, while Canada earned its 12th silver in Worlds competition. Knight and Jenner were named the respective players of the game, and Canada's Sarah Fillier received Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament with an excellent 11-point performance in seven games played (though she did not make the scoresheet during the gold medal game).