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U.S. Women's National Team beats Canada, 3-2, in Toronto

By, 12/30/13, 9:30PM MST


TORONTO, Ontario - Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio) and Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) each scored during a three-goal second period to spark the U.S. Women's National Team to a 3-2 victory over Canada Monday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The contest was the team's final international competition before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games begin Feb. 8 in Sochi, Russia.

"We played a very consistent game tonight and the players trusted each other out there," said Katey Stone, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team. "That, in tandem with strong goaltending by Schaus, gave us the edge we needed."

After a scoreless opening frame that saw quality chances by both teams, the U.S. was able to strike for back-to-back goals in a 51-second span early in the second period. Knight made it 1-0 when she drove hard to the net and redirected a Stack centering pass over Team Canada goaltender Genevieve Lacasse's leg at 2:32. Then, with the U.S. on the power play, Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) beat a Canadian defender off the wall and dished the puck to Stack at the edge of the crease. Stack gathered the puck, deked and scored at 3:23 to increase Team USA's advantage to 2-0.

Bozek pushed the U.S. lead to 3-0 with a power-play marker of her own with 16:54 gone in the middle stanza. After Stack won an offensive-zone faceoff, Bozek sent a slap-shot from the point through traffic and under Lacasse's glove.

Natalie Spooner scored on a two-on-one late in the second frame before Brianne Jenner connected on a shorthanded rush to cut the U.S. lead to 3-2 early in the third, but the Americans held onto the one-goal edge thanks to several tremendous stops by goaltender Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.).

Schaus finished with 25 saves in the contest.

Team USA will next play Feb. 8 against Finland in the squad's first contest at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The final 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, which will include 18 forwards/defensemen and three goaltenders, will be announced Wednesday (Jan. 1) during the second intermission of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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