Canada’s National Women’s Team took home a nail-biting 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the third game of the Rivalry Series on Monday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.
In front of a soldout crowd of more than 7,000 fans, Victoria Bach’s backhander on a 2-on-1 pass from Blayre Turnbull at the 3:22 mark beat U.S. netminder Nicole Hensley, who faced a Canadian onslaught in the extra frame.
“That entire game was a battle,” said Bach, from Milton, Ont. “We got down by one goal, but we pushed back. We’re going to fight and stick together as a team and I think it was awesome to get the chance to go out in overtime and score a big goal.”
This is Bach’s fourth career goal with Team Canada. All of Bach’s goals have been against the U.S. and all are within a span of five games in this season.
Brigette Lacquette tied the game for Canada on a powerplay with less than seven minutes left in the third. Canada had a two-player powerplay advantage for more than one minute and Lacquette’s goal came with the Americans down one player but facing fierce pressure from the Canadians who held possession for much of the penalties.
All tied up at one goal a piece after two periods of play. #RivalrySeries @HC_Women take on @usahockey in #Victoria #hockey #CanadasGame #VictoriaSports #WomenSports #WomenHockey #yyj pic.twitter.com/J473dZCGXx— Victoria News (@VictoriaNews) February 4, 2020
Savannah Harmon gave the Americans a 2-1 lead early in the third period with a hard shot to beat Canada’s Ann-Renee Desbiens low on the stick side.
The first period was scoreless with Hensley making several stellar glove saves as Canada kept the U.S. hemmed in its zone throughout the opening 20 minutes.
The U.S. hit the post with a blast from the point, but Canada dominated much of the period, moving the puck up the ice in waves.
The teams traded goals in the second, with Brianne Jenner scoring shorthanded for Canada early in the period. Jenner had a clear breakaway and scored when she bobbled the puck and it squeezed through Hensley’s pads.
This was coach Troy Ryan’s first game behind the bench for Canada after replacing former coach Perry Pearn last month.
“This is my first official head coaching win, so it feels nice,” said Ryan, who has previously been the team’s assistant coach.
He said the team played a strong first period, slowed somewhat in the second, but managed to keep the pressure on the Americans in the third.
“It was great to win it in overtime,” Ryan added.
Monday’s win was Canada’s first in the five-game series.
The teams will now head to Vancouver on Wednesday night for the final Canadian stop, before heading south for the finale on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
-With files from The Canadian Press