Team Canada and Team USA both went into Thursday’s game undefeated and only one came out with that same record. That team was Canada. They played a dominant game against their American rivals and finish up the Preliminary Rounds undefeated after Thursday’s 5-1 win.
Both teams took a little time to adjust to each other’s play but it wasn’t long before they were on the board. Melodie Daoust opened up the scoring 7:13 into the game as she chipped the puck on net mid-fall. Soon after, Renata Fast appeared to score but it wasn’t confirmed until it was reviewed for being played by a high stick. The Canadians go to the first intermission up 2-0.
Jamie Lee Rattray was the start of the second period, scoring two back-to-back goals within about three minutes of each other. Both were assisted by Brianne Jenner. Rattray’s first of the game came off of Jenner’s rebound and followed up with a nifty wrap-around. This duo has been very good in this tournament with Jenner sitting at six points with one goal and five assists and Rattray sitting at four points with three goals and one assist. Canada would go on to score one more in the second period with another goal that required a second look, this time scored by Sarah Nurse.
In the third, Team USA seemed to have enough with the score and it showed on the ice. Early into the last frame, tensions started to rise and they erupted a few minutes in. They only got a sliver of redemption by breaking up Ann-Renee Desbiens’ shutout 2:44 into the third period with a goal through the screened net by Lee Stecklein. Shots stayed pretty close this game ending at 27-23 in favor of Canada.
Canada was without their Captain in this game as Marie-Philip Poulin took a puck up high in their game against Switzerland on Tuesday. Based on the updates that have been coming from the team since her injury, keeping her out of the lineup for this game seemed to be more of a precautionary decision as opposed to a necessary one.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) August 26, 2021
The Preliminary Rounds have come to an end, securing Team Canada as the Group A winners with a 4-0 record and 12 points. In Group B, Team Czech Republic is in the same boat with the same record and the same amount of points. In Group A, Team USA placed second with Team Finland coming in third. All teams in the tournament will take tomorrow off to rest up before the Quarter Finals kick off on Saturday at 10 am (MST). Schedules have not been finalized on the IIHF’s website.