Wednesday, 7 November 2018

U.S.A. stuns Canada on Brodt’s tally at 4 Nations Cup

Sydney Brodt celebrates scoring the winning goal for the United States against Canada.
    The glow radiating from the smile on Sydney Brodt’s face gave away how much it means to players on the United States senior women’s hockey team to win rivalry games against Canada.
    One of the greatest rivalries in sports took centre stage at the 4 Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament on Wednesday night as Canada battled the U.S.A. in a compelling encounter at the SaskTel Centre. 
    With 1:48 remaining in the third period and the two sides locked in a 1-1 draw, Brodt drove hard down the left wing towards the Canadian net and the rebound from a shot taken by linemate Brianna Decker deflected off her chest into the Canadian goal.
Shannon Szabados makes one of her 31 saves in goal for Canada.
    That tally gave the States a 2-1 victory. For the 20-year-old Brodt, who is making her debut with the U.S. senior national women’s hockey during the 4 Nations Cup, the goal provided a big highlight moment.
    “It was awesome,” said Brodt. “I was just in the right place at the right time.
    “My linemate Kendall Coyne (Schofield) kind of retrieved the puck high in the zone and gave it to Decker, who got a nice shot. I was just there on the backdoor.
    “It went right off me and went into the net, so it was fun to get it.”
    Brodt’s goal helped the U.S. improve to 2-0 at the tournament and clinch a berth in Saturday’s gold medal game. The U.S. closes preliminary round play with a 3 p.m. match on Friday against Sweden (0-2).
Hannah Brandt scored the first goal for the U.S. on Wednesday night.
    Canada concludes preliminary round play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Finland in a battle of 1-1 teams, where the winner advances to play the U.S. for gold. All games at the 4 Nations Cup are behind held at the SaskTel Centre.
    Canada head coach Perry Pearn said Brodt’s third period goal was a tough one to take, but it didn’t make the difference in the game.
    “It is frustrating,” said Pearn. “I just told the group in the dressing room I didn’t think we lost the game on the last goal.
    “We lost the game on the first goal. We knew we had to have a good start. We talked about having a good first five minutes, and we didn’t.
Loren Gabel scored for Canada in the third period on Wednesday.
    “We kind of gave the U.S. the momentum. When they have the momentum, they play really well. We were on our heels for the first 20 minutes.”
    The States drew first blood just 78 seconds into the contest. During a flurry of action around the Canadian net, U.S. centre Hannah Brandt banged home a rebound to give her side a 1-0 edge.
    Canada was outshot 16-4 over the first 20 minutes and could have been down by a greater margin, but thanks to the stellar work of star netminder Shannon Szabados, the States lead stayed at one goal.
    “They came out early and threw a few pucks on net,” said Szabados. “As the game went on, we looked a lot more comfortable especially in their end.
    “I think we generated quite a bit in the second and a lot in the third there. We just kind of learn from it and carry that moving forward.”
    After an evenly played second period, Canada tied things up at 1-1 at the 3:30 mark of the third, when winger Loren Gabel buried a shot from the front of the U.S. net after receiving a nice centring pass from linemate Kristin O’Neill.
Hilary Knight breaks into the offensive zone for the U.S.
    That set the stage for Brodt’s winner near the end of the frame. U.S. head coach Bob Corkum was pleased to see Brodt get the deciding goal for his side.
   “It was great,” said Corkum. “She has been playing fantastic.
    “She brings a nice speed element along with skill. She is very courageous and competes well on the puck. She is going to be a nice player for us.”
    Szabados made 31 stops in goal for Canada. Alex Rigsby turned away 23 shots in goal for the States.
    Brodt said she enjoyed taking part in Wednesday’s rivalry clash with Canada and is looking forward to the U.S.’s final two games at the 4 Nations Cup.
    “I think we learned a lot of things playing against them just kind of the way they play their systems,” said Brodt. “It was the first time for me playing senior national team, so it was nice to get a feel for the pace and everything and just get better every day as the week goes on.”
    If the highly predicted showdown between Canada and the U.S. materializes in Saturday’s gold medal match, Pearn would like to see his side do a better job at getting pucks deep in the U.S. zone.
The Canadian players contemplate their setback to the U.S. on Wednesday.
    “Against a good defence, I don’t care what level of hockey you are playing you have to put pucks behind them,” said Pearn. “I thought early on we tried to make plays, and now you turn the puck over.
    “Now, you are back on your heels again. The first five minutes, assuming we get a chance to play them again, we have to get pucks behind them and give ourselves a chance to get on the forecheck a little bit and make them go back and find some pucks. I think, when we did that, they looked vulnerable too.”

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