REGINA, Sask. — We’ve heard this story before. A third period goal by former Cornell player Dana Antal broke a third period tie to give Canada a victory over the United States. While the stakes weren’t so high this time – Antal’s last two third period game-winners were in the most recent Four Nations Cup finals – this one might have meant just as much. Antal, a native of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, shined before a hometown crowd of 3,351 at Regina in Thursday night’s 3-2 win.
Canada trailed 2-1 after Katie King (Brown ’97) scored just 47 second into the third period past longtime U.S. nemesis Kim St. Pierre on a short-side backhand. But penalties from Rush Zimmerman (Providence ’05) and Courtney Kennedy (Minnesota ’01) put the U.S. down 5-on-3. Just as the first penalty was about to expire, Canada veteran Danielle Goyette tapped one in at the side of the net to tie the game 2-2.
That set the stage two minutes later for Antal’s shot to deflect off a U.S. defenseman and just under the crossbar for the only lead Canada would need. Canada beat Chanda Gunn (Northeastern ’04), a stone wall in the 2005 Worlds, for two goals on 15 shots in the third period. Shari Vogt (Minnesota State ’04) started the first two periods for the U.S. and allowed one goal on 16 shots.
The first and last minutes of periods proved key in this game as three of five goals were scored in those stretches. Canada opened the scoring with 35 seconds left in the first period on a breakaway goal when forward Jennifer Botterill (Harvard ’03) slipped a backhand shot between the legs of Vogt. In the final minute of the second period, Kennedy blasted a point shot past a screened St-Pierre to tie the game 1-1.
The U.S. power plays struggles continued with an 0-for-7 performance, while Canada was 1-for-8. The shots were even 31 apiece.
The matchup was the third of several U.S. vs. Canada matchups that will prepare both teams for the Olympics. Canada will face the USA at 12 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 8th at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon before returning back to Calgary. This game will also be broadcast live on TSN/RDS in Canada.