Team Canada takes round one, defeats Team USA 4-2

BEIJING — After three second period goals, the Canadian women’s hockey team orchestrated a two-goal lead over Team USA and would eventually defeat the Americans 4-2 in the final preliminary game of Group A.

Despite scoring two goals themselves during the second period, Team USA led for just 26 seconds until Canada evened the score at two apiece. Remarkably, just two minutes and 25 seconds later, Canada would retake the lead and never look back.

Unlike the Americans, Team Canada made the most of their chances despite being outshot 53-27 over the course of the game. Power-plays played a major role in the overall outcome as Canada not only scored on the five-on-four advantage, but Captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored on a penalty shot in the second as well.

For the game, Canada committed six penalties while the U.S. committed just two. While the Americans produced nearly twice as many shots, they went just 1-6 on power-plays (16%) while the Canadians finished 1-2 (50%).

With the victory, Canada takes round one and advances to the quarterfinals as the leader of Group A with 12 points and a perfect 4-0-0-0 record. Despite their first loss, the U.S. will also advance from Group A with nine points and a 3-0-0-1 record.

The Americans now await the final preliminary outcomes of Group B as they could end up playing either Japan, the Czech Republic or Denmark. If Japan defeats the Czech Republic it will more than likely be the Czech Republic, unless Denmark defeats Sweden in regulation which would create a USA-Denmark matchup. However, if Japan loses to the Czech Republic, the Japanese will then face the Americans.

While all is certainly not lost, barring a major upset, the Americans will likely see Team Canada again but with a gold medal on the line instead. Between now and then the U.S. will need to focus on making the most of their chances as they nearly doubled the amount of shots, but lost by twice as many goals.

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