Welcome to U.S.-Canada, Kevin Dineen.
The new Canadian coach couldn’t do much to stop the bleeding, or flying punches, in his first game behind the bench.
The U.S. won its second straight over its rival, 4-1 in dominating fashion at Grand Forks, N.D., on Friday night.
A brawl among several players broke out in the final minute, reminding of their fight earlier this fall (video here). Players still customarily shook hands after the final horn sounded.
“[Canadian Brianne Jenner] took a cheap shot, hit one of our girls in the head with her elbow,” U.S. forward Hilary Knight said on NBCSN after the game. “We don’t like that.”
The Americans won 5-1 in Calgary, Alberta, on Dec. 12, hours after Canadian coach Dan Church resigned.
Dineen, the former 19-year NHL veteran, was named the replacement Tuesday. He has his work cut out for him, as Friday showed.
The reigning world champion U.S. came back from a 1-0 deficit with goals from Monique Lamoureux, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight and Jocelyne Lamoureux. The Lamoureux twins played college hockey for North Dakota.
U.S. goalie Molly Schaus stopped 17 of 18 shots.
Canada played without stalwart Hayley Wickenheiser, who suffered a lower-body injury in last week’s game. The U.S. played without reigning NCAA Player of the Year Amanda Kessel, who hasn’t played at all in five exhibition games against Canada this fall, also with a lower-body injury.
The U.S. and Canada play twice more before the Olympics: Dec. 28 in St. Paul, Minn., and Dec. 30 in Toronto. What should viewers expect in St. Paul?
“Heightened tension, heightened emotions,” Knight said. “A really physical game.”