For the second year in a row, a third period goal by former Cornell player Dana Antal lifted the Canadian Women’s National Team to a 2-1 victory over the United States at the Four Nations Cup.
The Canadian victory avenged a shootout loss to the U.S. from the 2005 World Championships, which Antal had missed while struggling with injuries. Canada has won the Four Nations Cup (formerly the Three Nations Cup) in eight of 10 years it has been contested. The event was the first on the pre-2006 Olympic schedule. The sport’s top rivals will play again at least seven times before Torino. In the seemingly perennial third-place matchup, Finland topped Sweden 4-3 after a shootout.
U.S. college alumni played key roles on both sides and both ends of the ice. Sami Jo-Small (Stanford ’97) stopped 40 of 41 U.S. shots for the victory, while Chanda Gunn (Northeastern ’04) and Shari Vogt (Minnesota State ’04) each allowed one goal in defeat for the Americans. Carla MacLeod (Wisconsin ’05) netted the game’s first goal for Canada at the 3:39 mark, and Kristin King (Dartmouth ’02) tied it for the U.S. five minutes later. Antal’s game-winner beat Vogt with just under nine minutes to go in the final frame.
This tournament may be better remembered as the first without several longtime veterans for the U.S. and Canada. Longtime U.S. captain Cammi Granato (Providence ’93) and mainstay Shelley Looney (Northeastern ’95) were left of the U.S. roster, and their national team careers are likely over. Canada left behind some of its veterans as well, including Vicky Sunohara (Northeastern ’89), but their players are likely still in contention for Olympic spots.
The U.S. roster for the Four Nations Cup was made entirely of U.S. college alumni, including four players currently in college, one incoming freshman, and 13 graduates since the last Olympics. Canada’s roster includes six current collegians and nine U.S. alumni. Former UMD players played key roles on both the Finnish and Swedish national teams.
The Canadians were a perfect 3-0 in the round-robin portion of the event, concluding with a 6-1 win over Finland on Saturday. It was a big win for Dartmouth players as defenseman Correne Bredin ’03 scored twice and seniors Katie Weatherston and Gillian Apps each had a goal and an assist. In a 4-0 win over the U.S., Becky Kellar (Brown ’97) scored twice and Antal added another. Two-time Patty Kazmaier winner Jennifer Botterill scored the first goal in Canada’s tournament-opening 3-1 win over Sweden.
Jenny Potter (UMD ’04) was the key goal-scoring force in both U.S. wins as she netted a pair in a 5-2 win over Finland and in a 2-0 win over Sweden. The team’s two teenagers – future Dartmouth freshman Sarah Parsons and Yale sophomore Helen Resor – scored the first two U.S. goals in the Finland win, the team’s first game since the controversial cutting of Granato and Looney.
The next U.S.-Canada matchup is set for Oct. 6 in Regina.