at 2011 Four Nations Cup Team USA Wins First Championship at Four Nations Cup since 2008
NYKOPING, Sweden -- Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho) scored the decisive goal in a shootout, as the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Canada, 4-3 in a shootout, to secure the championship at the 2011 Four Nations Cup.
"I'm pleased with how our kids played," said Katey Stone, head coach of the 2011 U.S. Women's National Team. "We had a lot of jump. We put a ton of pressure on in the overtime. This is just the beginning of the season and a good win to build on."
Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio) gave the U.S. an early 1-0 lead with her fourth goal of the tournament at 1:10 of the first period. Team USA went on to outshoot Canada, 23-7, in the opening frame. But Canada's Caroline Ouellette evened the score with 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
Jenny Potter (Edina, Minn.) gave the U.S. the edge with a power-play tally at 2:36 of the third period before Canada's Natalie Spooner evened the score at 6:46. Stack struck for her second goal of the night at 9:53 to give the U.S. a 3-2 advantage. However, Spooner tied the score again for Canada at 15:49 to send the championship game to overtime. The teams skated four-on-four for a 10-minute extra session with neither team able to break the deadlock.
In the shootout, Stack and Knight scored for Team USA to secure the win. Jayna Hefford scored the lone goal in the shootout for Canada.
Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.) made 35 saves in the victory to improve the U.S. Women's National Team's overall record to 2-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the tournament, while Shannon Szabados stopped 56 shots in the loss.
NOTES: Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Kacey Bellamy was named the Best Defenseman of the tournament ... Kelli Stack earned the Best Forward of the tournament with seven points (5-2) ... Jessie Vetter was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament ... Julie Chu and Jenny Potter served as alternate captains for the match-up against Canada ... The last time the U.S. won the gold medal at the Four Nations Cup was in 2008 in Lake Placid, N.Y., with a 3-2 shootout win against Canada ... For the full U.S. Women's National Team Four Nations Cup roster, click here ... Katey Stone, head women's ice hockey coach at Harvard University, is the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2011-12 season and is guiding the team in Nykping. Hilary Witt and Bobby Jay are serving as assistant coaches. Robb Stauber is serving as the goalie coach and team scout for the event ... The Four Nations Cup is an annual tournament featuring four of the top-ranked women's hockey teams in the world - the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden ... To follow the team in Sweden, check out the U.S. Women's National Program blog by clicking here ... Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with #4nationsWMN .