Canada beats U.S. 2-0 at LCA to win Rivalry Series
Canada defeated the United States 2-0 to win the 2019 Women’s Rivalry Series two games at Little Caesars Arena Sunday.
The three-game series is a precursor to the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship, which will be held April 4-14 in Espoo, Finland.
Canada won 4-3 in Toronto on Thursday night to even the series with the U.S., which won the opener 1-0 in London, Ontario, on Tuesday night.
"It's a tough loss for us, losing two of three,” said United States goalie Alex Rigsby, who made 15 saves. “We need to refocus. We have to make sure everybody is going back and holding each other accountable to be ready for the world championship."
The main reason the Canadians won was goalie Shannon Szabados, who made 38 saves. He team had only 17 shots on goal.
"We weren't very happy with how many shots we produced,” said Blayre Turnbull, who scored one of Canada’s goals. “We gave up a lot of scoring chances. But luckily Szabby stood on her head."
Szabados credited her teammates for the win.
“Again, it’s probably cliché, but I thought the girls played really well in front of me, didn’t give up a ton of odd-man rushes, and most everything was from the point or from the sides,” she said. “Again, if there was anything in the front, they battled. I think (they played) just a strong game in front of me.”
Brianne Jenner also scored for Canada.
Szabados made 21 of her saves in the second period, including stonewalling Alex Carpenter and Amanda Kessel during a goal-mouth scramble with a little over 10 minutes left in the middle period.
An apparent goal by the U.S. was disallowed 2:23 into the third period when it was ruled that Dana Trivigno interfered with Szabados just before Savannah Harmon’s shot from the left-wing circle found the back of the net.
"Canada plays a physical game, so I was trying to get to the net and create some havoc in front,” Trivigno said. “I bumped off one Canadian and got into the goalie and … couldn't get off her quick enough. Unfortunately, that was enough to make it goaltender interference."
Kendall Coyne-Schofield hit the goal post for the United States with a little more than 90 seconds left and Rigsby pulled for the extra attacker.
Jenner gave Canada a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 5:40 into the game. Jenner’s slap shot from the top of the right circle along the boards beat Rigsby high on the short side.
That goal came seconds after Rigsby made an outstanding save on Laura Fortino from the slot.
Turnbull made it 2-0 3:35 into the second period when she tipped in Laura Stacey’s pass off the rush to complete a give-and-go. It was Stacey’s third assist in the last two games of the series.
The crowd was announced at 9,048, with the lower bowl of Little Caesars Arena more than half full. A good percentage of the spectators were girls from teams of various Youth hockey organizations in the metro Detroit area and their families. Many of the young players wore their jerseys.
"There's always more and more young girls watching, and you can hear them in the crowd,” Trivigno said. “You're their role models and you're what they aspiring to be, so we're just trying to create a path for them to follow and do the same thing."
It was NBC’s celebration of Hockey Day in America, which kicks of USA Hockey’s Hockey Week Across America.
NBC did its half-hour pre-game show and all between-period and between-game segments from Campus Martius in downtown Detroit.
The network also televised two NHL games – New York Rangers at Pittsburgh and St. Louis at Minnesota – before the Red Wings hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at 6 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.