LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - The U.S. Women's National Team hopes to continue its offensive prowess displayed in Tuesday's 10-0 win over Sweden when it faces Canada tonight in the second game for both teams at the 2013 Four Nations Cup.
The game is the third between the rivals in the last month and the second chance for the Americans to claim a victory on home soil. The first time out, in the Bring on the World Tour opener in Burlington, Vt., the U.S. fell behind early before coming up short in a 3-2 loss. Team USA then dropped a 6-3 decision in Montreal.
"We learned a lot," U.S. coach Katey Stone said of the losses to Canada. "Those two games ... exposed a lot of things for us."
Slow starts in Burlington and Montreal put the U.S. in a tough position against Canada. That slow start, and the effort required to reverse the trend, became a rallying cry in practice over the last two weeks in preparation for this tournament.
"We've been battling against each other in practice for the last few weeks," said defenseman Gigi Marvin. "We're excited to continue on and every day is another opportunity to put into practice what we've been working on and to elevate our game."
That hard work paid off against Sweden on Tuesday when the Americans posted four goals in the first and third periods. Stone said she liked the effort and hopes it continues against Canada.
"We've had a few weeks of great practice and hard work," Stone said. "Who knows what's going to happen (tonight), but I imagine our team is going to come out a little bit harder than the last two times we played Canada."
Canada also played Tuesday, a 3-1 victory over Finland, so both teams had quick turnarounds before today's game. Defenseman Kacey Bellamy said she and her teammates focused on resting and preparing for the back-to-back games.
"Today it's just getting fired up for the game," Bellamy said. "We've played each other so much and it's such a big rivalry and such an exciting game that when the puck drops everyone is going to be ready."
The winner of tonight's game will be a step closer to clinching a spot in Saturday's championship game, but U.S. players and coaches stressed they don't need any extra motivation when it comes to playing Canada.
"When we play Canada it's the game we want to play and the game we train for," Bellamy said. "We're going to come out hard."