U.S. beats Canada in women’s hockey world championship final on Hilary Knight hat trick


Hilary Knight had a hat trick, and the U.S. scored three times in the last four minutes to beat Canada 6-3 in the world women’s hockey championship final, ending a losing streak in the rivalry.

The Americans beat the Canadians in a major final for the first time since the 2018 Olympics. Canada won the previous two world championships, plus the 2022 Olympics, and was riding a five-game win streak overall in the rivalry, matching its longest in 13 years.

Aware of that, there was a sign in the U.S. locker room that read “script.” It was upside down. Coach John Wroblewski ripped it down after the game while the team chanted “flip the script.”

Canada led 3-2 after two periods in Brampton, Ontario, but 20-year-old defender Caroline Harvey tied it five minutes into the final frame.

Then the U.S. went on a five-on-three power play with 3:52 left and got two goals from Knight in a 27-second span. She became the first American man or woman to record a hat trick in an Olympic or world championship final and ran her career total to 101 points in world championships, the most by any skater.

“I’m just so happy that we pulled it together,” Knight said in an on-ice interview, speaking loudly over Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” “This is a really young team. They say experience wins championships. We worked on it. We had our experience. We had our energy, and it was a solid team win tonight.”

Abbey Murphy and Cayla Barnes also scored for the U.S., which recorded the largest margin of victory in a major final since 2009. Only one of the last 11 gold-medal games between the rivals had been decided by more than one goal.

For Canada, Brianne Jenner scored twice in the final, just as she did at 2022 Worlds. Marie-Philip Poulin added her 10th career goal in 14 career major finals versus the U.S. dating to 2009.

The Americans made major roster changes going into these worlds.

They were without three-time Olympic medalist forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield (pregnant) and Brianna Decker (retired). Maddie Rooney and Alex Cavallini, their No. 1 goalies from the last two Olympics, didn’t make the team at a March tryout camp.

Wroblewski, who took over as coach after the 2022 Olympics, trotted out a second forward line of collegians — Taylor Heise, Hannah Bilka and Tessa Janecke.

Wroblewski also threw Aerin Frankel into the crease after she didn’t make the 2022 Olympic team and played just 20 minutes at the summer 2022 Worlds. This month, Frankel became the first U.S. women’s goalie to start five consecutive games at an Olympics or worlds in 26 years.

Harvey, who played in the 2022 Olympics before her NCAA debut, fronts the new generation. She became the second defender to ever lead the U.S. in points at an Olympics or worlds (with 14), and the first skater to lead the U.S. in points and ice time. She was the lone American to make the all-tournament team, which was headed by Canadian Sarah Fillier, the MVP.

“We came together as a group at the right time,” said Harvey, who led all 40 skaters Sunday with 23:35 of ice time, 14 months after playing 62 total seconds in the Olympic final (fewest of all 37 skaters). “We peaked at the right time.”

In the end, it came down to Knight, who made her national team debut at age 17 in 2006 and, this month, was team captain at a major tournament for the first time. She was without her longtime linemates Decker and Coyne Schofield.

For so long, she has been compared to Poulin, but on Sunday, she one-upped her Canadian contemporary, who has three times scored two goals in an Olympic final, but never had a hat trick in a gold-medal game.

“It’s hard to put into words right now,” Poulin said, according to Hockey Canada. “This one hurts, for sure, especially on home soil, but this group is very special; we’ll learn from it and move forward, but it’s a tough one to swallow.”

Knight is now 33, the only player on the team born in the 1980s and the second-oldest U.S. woman to ever play at worlds after her idol, Cammi Granato, in her finale in 2005.

“The legacy that Hilary carried on, it just trickles down, but that’s the heart of the team right there,” Wroblewski told the team in the locker room. “Your captain went out and took care of us, and everybody followed suit.”

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At the French Open, a Ukrainian mom makes her comeback

Elina Svitolina French Open

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, once the world’s third-ranked tennis player, is into the French Open third round in her first major tournament since childbirth.

Svitolina, 28, swept 2022 French Open semifinalist Martina Trevisan of Italy, then beat Australian qualifier Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the last 32 at Roland Garros. She next plays 56th-ranked Russian Anna Blinkova, who took out the top French player, fifth seed Caroline Garcia, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 on her ninth match point.

Svitolina’s husband, French player Gael Monfils, finished his first-round five-set win after midnight on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. She watched that match on a computer before going to sleep ahead of her 11 a.m. start Wednesday.

“This morning, he told me, ‘I’m coming to your match, so make it worth it,'” she joked on Tennis Channel. “I was like, OK, no pressure.

“I don’t know what he’s doing here now. He should be resting.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Svitolina made at least one major quarterfinal every year from 2017 through 2021, including the semifinals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2019. She married Monfils one week before the Tokyo Olympics, then won a singles bronze medal.

Svitolina played her last match before maternity leave on March 24, 2022, one month after Russia invaded her country. She gave birth to daughter Skai on Oct. 15.

Svitolina returned to competition in April. Last week, she won the tournament preceding the French Open, sweeping Blinkova to improve to 17-3 in her career in finals. She’s playing on a protected ranking of 27th after her year absence and, now, on a seven-match win streak.

“It was always in my head the plan to come back, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself, because obviously with the war going on, with the pregnancy, you never know how complicated it will go,” she said. “I’m as strong as I was before, maybe even stronger, because I feel that I can handle the work that I do off the court, and match by match I’m getting better. Also mentally, because mental can influence your physicality, as well.”

Svitolina said she’s motivated by goals to attain before she retires from the sport and to help Ukraine, such as donating her prize money from last week’s title in Strasbourg.

“These moments bring joy to people of Ukraine, to the kids as well, the kids who loved to play tennis before the war, and now maybe they don’t have the opportunity,” she said. “But these moments that can motivate them to look on the bright side and see these good moments and enjoy themselves as much as they can in this horrible situation.”

Svitolina was born in Odesa and has lived in Kharkiv, two cities that have been attacked by Russia.

“I talk a lot with my friends, with my family back in Ukraine, and it’s a horrible thing, but they are used to it now,” she said. “They are used to the alarms that are on. As soon as they hear something, they go to the bomb shelters. Sleepless nights. You know, it’s a terrible thing, but they tell me that now it’s a part of their life, which is very, very sad.”

Svitolina noted that she plays with a flag next to her name — unlike the Russians and Belarusians, who are allowed to play as neutral athletes.

“When I step on the court, I just try to think about the fighting spirit that all of us Ukrainians have and how Ukrainians are fighting for their values, for their freedom in Ukraine,” she said, “and me, I’m fighting here on my own front line.”

Svitolina said that she’s noticed “a lot of rubbish” concerning how tennis is reacting to the war.

“We have to focus on what the main point of what is going on,” she said. “Ukrainian people need help and need support. We are focusing on so many things like empty words, empty things that are not helping the situation, not helping anything.

“I want to invite everyone to focus on helping Ukrainians. That’s the main point of this, to help kids, to help women who lost their husbands because they are at the war, and they are fighting for Ukraine.

“You can donate. Couple of dollars might help and save lives. Or donate your time to something to help people.”

Also Wednesday, 108th-ranked Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis ousted three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in four and a half hours. Wawrinka’s exit leaves Novak Djokovic as the lone man in the draw who has won the French Open and Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz as the lone men left who have won any major.

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Marcell Jacobs still sidelined, misses another race with Fred Kerley

Marcell Jacobs

Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy will miss another scheduled clash with world 100m champion Fred Kerley, withdrawing from Friday’s Diamond League meet in Florence.

Jacobs, 28, has not recovered from the nerve pain that forced him out of last Sunday’s Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, according to Italy’s track and field federation.

In his absence, Kerley’s top competition will be fellow American Trayvon Bromell, the world bronze medalist, and Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, the world’s fastest man this year at 9.84 seconds. Kerley beat both of them in Rabat.

The Florence Diamond League airs live on Peacock on Friday from 2-4 p.m. ET.

Jacobs has withdrawn from six scheduled head-to-heads with Kerley dating to May 2022 due to a series of health issues since that surprise gold in Tokyo.

Kerley, primarily a 400m sprinter until the Tokyo Olympic year, became the world’s fastest man in Jacobs’ absence. He ran a personal best 9.76 seconds, the world’s best time of 2022, at last June’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. Then he led a U.S. sweep of the medals at July’s worlds.

Jacobs’ next scheduled race is a 100m at the Paris Diamond League on June 9. Kerley is not in that field, but world 200m champion Noah Lyles is.

The last time the reigning Olympic and world men’s 100m champions met in a 100m was the 2012 London Olympic final between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. From 2013 to 2017, Bolt held both titles, then retired in 2017 while remaining reigning Olympic champion until Jacobs’ win in Tokyo, where Kerley took silver.

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