Canada falls to U.S.

The Canadian Press
Donna Spencer

KAMLOOPS, B.C.—For the third time in as many starts against the U.S., Emerance Maschmeyer wasn’t rewarded for her hard work.
Canada didn’t capitalize on a 36-save performance by its goalie.
Instead, the host team fell 3-1 to the U.S. to open the women’s world hockey championship yesterday in Kamloops, B.C.
Maschmeyer got the nod over veteran Charline Labonte in part because of her performance at November’s Four Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden.
The 21-year-old from Bruderheim, Alta. stopped 30 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to the U.S. in the final.
Her debut against Canada’s archrival in the preliminary round there was strong, but the team squandered her 27-save performance in a 3-0 loss.
The world championship opener was a variation on that theme. Canada mustered 23 shots on net and scored one power-play goal in their Pool ‘A’ game against the defending champs.
“It’s always disappointing getting a loss, especially against the U.S.,” Maschmeyer said.
“It’s frustrating, but we’re going to use this as momentum and we’re going to get them when it counts,” she vowed.
Brianna Decker scored the eventual game-winner at 13:55 when Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson was serving a high-sticking minor.
Hilary Knight scored even strength and into an empty net in the third.
Alex Rigsby earned the win with 21 saves.
Laura Fortino countered with the Canada’s lone goal in front of a full house at the 5,400-seat Sandman Centre.
“There’s no medal being given out tonight from that game, so we’ve got to keep going and focus on the next game,” reasoned Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin.
Finland beat Russia 5-3 in yesterday’s other Pool ‘A’ matchup.
Switzerland doubled Japan 4-2 and Sweden edged the Czech Republic 3-2 in Pool ‘B’ play.
Canada faces Russia while the U.S. takes on Finland today for their second games in as many days to open the tournament.
The top two teams in Canada’s pool earn byes to Sunday’s semi-finals.
The bottom two meet the top two from ‘B’ in Friday’s quarter-finals.
The U.S. has won six of the last eight world titles.
They extended their winning streak against Canada to four in a row yesterday.
Canada’s last victory against them was a 3-2 shootout victory in the 2014 Four Nations Cup final in Kamloops.