MALMO, Sweden. – The U.S. Women's National Team defeated Canada, 4-2, here today at Malmo Isstadion in the opening game for each team at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) both registered two points (goal and assist) and nine players overall had at least one point in the victory. Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) stopped nine of 11 shots she faced to earn the victory.
"We came out fast and played a strong game right from the start," said Ken Klee, head coach of the 2015 U.S. Women's National Team. "When we weren't at our best, Jessie was there with a key save. It's a good start to the tournament and we'll now turn our attention to Finland for tomorrow."
Team USA struck early on a five-on-three power play when Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Grand Forks, N.D.) took a feed at the goal line and walked out from the right side of the net and fired a shot over the shoulder of Canada's Genevieve Lacasse to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 4:04. Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) and Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) assisted on the goal.
Canada tied it, 1-1, at 7:23 when Brianne Jenner skated in alone and lifted a backhand shot over the leg of a sprawling Vetter.
The U.S. responded by adding a pair of power play goals to take a 3-1 lead. Bellamy fired a point shot that beat the opposing goaltender high on the blocker side at 11:45. With just under two minutes to go in the opening period, Coyne extended the lead to 3-1, tapping in a point shot rebound from Bellamy.
Canada narrowed the margin just 57 seconds into the middle stanza when Jennifer Wakefied skated in on a partial breakaway and tucked one under Vetter to cut the lead to 3-2, which is how the period ended.
Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) had the only goal of the final period, making it 4-2 at 6:29. Coyne skated up the left hand wall and fed Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) behind the net where she immediately distributed a pass in front to Knight who shoveled it in for the goal.
The U.S. poured 34 shots on the Canadian net and held their opponent to just 11 shots in the game.
Team USA is back in preliminary action tomorrow (March 29) against Finland at 3 p.m. ET.
Notes: Kacey Bellamy was named U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. has played Canada in the gold medal game in all 15 of the previous tournaments, capturing the event’s top prize a total of five times (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013), including four of the last five tournaments and five of the last seven.