The U.S.-Canada women’s hockey rivalry is going through yet another stretch of one-sided results.
The nations have played three times this fall. Canada has won all three, including two in the U.S. The latest was a 4-2 game at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Wednesday night.
“Any time you don’t win, it should sting,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said. “There’s no question about it. We want it to sting. You want to eliminate that experience from continuing to happen.”
Canada’s Natalie Spooner broke a 2-2 tie on a 5-on-3 power play with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left on Wednesday. The win was all the more impressive given Canada left three veteran stars off its roster for the tournament — Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette and Marie-Philip Poulin. It also rested No. 1 goalie Shannon Szabados against the U.S.
Lyndsey Fry and Kelli Stack scored for the United States.
The U.S., which beat Canada in Canada for the World Championship in April, plays Finland on Friday and will likely face Canada again in the Four Nations Cup championship game Saturday.
“I think we’re overthinking this a little bit and trying to make this a much more complicated game than it needs to be,” Stone said. “Credit to Canada. They put a lot of pressure on us, too. We’ve got to firm up some things on our defensive end, but our game is pressure. Speed, pressure, quickness with the puck. We just didn’t show up to do that, consistently, until the third period.”
The U.S. and Canada played at least eight times in the months leading into each of the last four Olympics. Here’s how those results went:
1998 — Canada starts 2-1, goes 7-6 overall. U.S. wins Olympic gold.
2002 — U.S. goes 8-0. Canada wins Olympic gold.
2006 — Canada starts 6-0, goes 8-2 overall. Canada wins Olympic gold.
2010 — U.S. starts 2-1, but Canada goes 7-3 overall. Canada wins Olympic gold.