Photo: Phil MacCallum

Canadian women settle for silver

The 2013 edition of the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship was a tale of two teams. The Canadians and Americans proved to be head and shoulders above the competition.

It only seemed fitting they would face in the final of this tournament for a 15th consecutive time. Canada did not earn its 11th world title in Ottawa, ON falling 3-2 in a tightly contested game.

“I guess the first thing that sticks out is that we didn’t get enough scoring chances or pucks on net,” said Jayna Hefford (Kingston, ON). “Szabados played big for us in net, but getting 16 shots on net isn’t enough to win a game like that.”

The game started well for Canada in the first period with the team blazing out in the early moments of the game. The deadlock opened at the 9:50 mark by defenceman Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, ON)  for her first goal of the tournament.

Photo: Phil MacCallumBirchard scored on a shot from the point with an assist Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, QC) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, QC).

The game opened up in the second with the Americans pushing the pace. Brianna Decker tied it at one a piece after getting set up for a slapshot by Kendall Coyne that found its way through Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, AB) just three minutes into the period.

Back-to-back penalties from Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, ON) and Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, SK) put the Canadians in a 5-3 situation and Megan Bozek capitalized to take the lead at the 14.26 mark. She was assisted on the play by Coyne and Anne Schleper.

The Canadians tied it right back up three minutes and 24 seconds later on the power play after Ouellete slapped one home. Poulin and Catherine Ward (Montreal, QC) earned assists on the play.

The game winner came in the third period courtesy of player of the game Amanda Kessel with Gigi Marvin and Jessie Vetter assisting.

Vetter had 14 saves on the night for the Americans and Canadian Szabados had 27.

Poulin was selected as forward of the tournament.