U.S. beats Canada in OT to win women’s hockey gold

United States's Alex Carpenter celebrates her overtime goal against Canada. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Alex Carpenter dashed Canada’s hopes of reclaiming women’s world hockey championship gold on home ice.

The daughter of former NHL player Bobby Carpenter scored the overtime winner for the United States in a 1-0 win over the host country Monday in Kamloops, B.C.

The U.S. went undefeated in the tournament en route to a third straight world title. Coached by former NHL defenceman Ken Klee, the Americans outscored their opponents 23-2 in the tournament.

Canada and the U.S. have met in every final of the 17 women’s world championship. Canada won the first eight, but momentum has swung south of the border with their archrivals taking seven of the last nine.

"For sure this one stings a lot more, especially playing in Canada," Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin said. "Every time you work so hard for something and you get silver, that’s hard."

In contrast to last year’s 7-5 finale, the 2016 championship game at the Sandman Centre was a goaltending showcase.

Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta., made 33 saves in her first start in a world championship final. The 21-year-old dressed for two games but did not play in Malmo, Sweden, in 2015.

Alex Rigsby posted a 32-save shutout. The 24-year-old finished out last year’s final playing just over a period in relief of Jessie Vetter. Rigsby said the experience set the table for her in Kamloops.

"It definitely helped getting that gold-medal victory," she said. "Same thing, it was going out there and making sure I was trusting my talent and making sure I was doing the things I could do to help our team be successful."

Canada’s power-play went 0-for-6, including a pair of chances in overtime.

"I thought we were all over them and we just had an unlucky bounce," Canadian forward Meghan Agosta said. "We had power play after power play and couldn’t put it in. Emerance Maschmeyer, she kept us in the game.

"It’s a tough one. I feel this is the first time we had something really, really special in that dressing room. We really wanted to get it done."

The U.S. power play was 0-for-3, but Carpenter scored shortly after time expired on a U.S. four-on-three in overtime. She got her stick behind a sprawling Maschmeyer to bat the puck in at 12:30.

"It got pretty quiet, so I wasn’t really sure if it went in," Carpenter said. "I’ve had some chances throughout the tournament and I guess this was just the right place at the right time. I would have given up any other goal at any other point for this one."

Canada led 21-14 in shots after two periods, but were outshot 20-11 in the third period and in overtime.

Rigsby’s spectacular pad save on a deking Laura Fortino and Maschmeyer stoning Carpenter on a short-handed breakaway had the sellout of 5,850 buzzing in the second period.

Maschmeyer stopped 35 shots in Canada’s 3-1 loss to the U.S. to open the preliminary round. The International Ice Hockey Federation directorate named her the tournament’s top goaltender.

Canada may be the reigning Olympic champions after beating the U.S. in a 3-2 overtime thriller in 2014, but the Americans are winning more world championship skirmishes between Winter Games, and performing on demand more consistently.

Hilary Knight, widely considered the best power forward in women’s hockey, and U.S. captain Meghan Duggan have played on U.S. teams that have won six of the last seven world titles

"It’s always exciting to win a world championship, but to win it against your archrivals in their building makes it that much sweeter," Duggan said.

The U.S. is the host country of the 2017 world championship in Plymouth, Mich.

The Americans were the more rested team into the final after cruising to a 9-0 win over Russia in Sunday afternoon’s semifinal. Canada burned more fuel getting by Finland 5-3 in their evening semifinal.

Russia downed Finland 1-0 in shootout for the bronze medal.

Finnish goaltender Meeri Raisanen, defencemen Monique Lamoureux of the U.S. and Jenni Hiirikoski of Finland and forwards Knight, Rebecca Johnston from Canada and Christine Hueni of Switzerland were named to the tournament all-star team.

Knight, who led the tournament in scoring with seven goals in five games, was voted most valuable player. Johnston led Canada in scoring with two goals and five assists in five games.

The IIHF directorate named Knight top forward and Hiirikoski best defender.

Sweden finished fifth, the Czech Republic sixth and Olympic bronze medallist Switzerland seventh in the tournament. Japan was relegated to the ‘B’ world championships with Germany earning promotion to Plymouth.

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