USA beats Canada in overtime to win women’s world hockey championship

United States's Alex Carpenter celebrates her overtime goal against Canada in gold medal action at the women's world hockey championships Monday, April 4, 2016 in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Alex Carpenter scored the golden goal in overtime as the United States downed Canada 1-0 in the women’s world hockey championship final Monday.

The daughter of former NHL player Bobby Carpenter struck at 12:30 in extra time to dash the host country’s hopes of reclaiming gold on home ice in Kamloops, B.C.

The U.S. went undefeated en route to their third straight world championship gold and extended their win streak in the tournament to 14 consecutive games dating back to 2013.

The U.S. and Canada have met in every final of the 17 women’s world championship to date. Canada won the first eight, but the balance of power has swung south of the border with their archrivals now taking seven of the last nine.

In contrast to last year’s 7-5 finale won by the U.S. in Malmo, Sweden, the gold-medal game at the Sandman Centre was a goaltending showcase.

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Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta., made 34 saves in her first start in a world championship final. The 21-year-old dressed for two games but did not play in Malmo last year.

Alex Rigsby, who had more big-game experience, posted a 33-save shutout. She was the finisher of last year’s final playing just over a period in relief of Jessie Vetter.

Canada outshot the U.S. 25-23 over three periods, but were outshot 9-4 in the third and 12-8 in overtime. The Canadians didn’t capitalize on a pair of power-play chances in overtime and went 0 for 6 with the man advantage overall.

Carpenter scored shortly after time expired on a U.S. four-on-three. She got her stick behind a sprawling Maschmeyer to bat the puck in during a goal-mouth scramble.

Rigsby’s spectacular pad save on a deking Laura Fortino and Maschmeyer stoning Carpenter on a short-handed breakaway had the sellout of 5,850 buzzing in the second, as did Halli Krzyzaniak’s well-timed block on a U.S. odd-man rush late in the period.

The Americans beat Canada on home ice for gold for the second time in the last three world championships. The U.S. prevailed 3-2 in the 2013 final in Ottawa. A dozen players from that squad played for their country again in Kamloops.

Canada may be the reigning Olympic champions having beaten the U.S. in a 3-2 overtime thriller in 2014, but the U.S. is winning more world championship skirmishes between Winter Games, and performing on demand more consistently.

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Hilary Knight, widely considered the best power forward in women’s hockey, and Meghan Duggan have played in all seven of those finals. Coached by former NHL defenceman Ken Klee for a second year, the U.S. outscored their opponents 23-2 in the tournament.

The Americans were the more rested team in Monday’s final having cruised to a 9-0 win over Russia in Sunday afternoon’s semifinal. Canada burned more fuel getting by Finland 5-3 with its evening semifinal.

Each country’s roster consisted mostly of players from rival leagues. The Americans had 10 players from the new U.S.-based NWHL, while 18 Canadians spent this season in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Russia downed Finland 1-0 in shootout for the bronze medal.

Finnish goaltender Meeri Raisanen, defencemen Monique Lamoureux of the U.S. and Jenni Hiirikoski of Finland and forwards Hilary Knight of the U.S., Rebecca Johnston from Canada and Christine Hueni of Switzerland were named to the tournament all-star team.

Knight was voted the tournament’s most valuable player by the media.

The International Ice Hockey Federation directorate chose Maschmeyer as the tournament’s top goalie, Hiirikoski best defender and Knight top forward.

The U.S. is the host country of next year’s world championship in Plymouth, Mich. Hockey Canada is expected to announce the players invited to try out for the 2018 Olympic team soon shortly after that tournament.

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Sweden finished fifth, the Czech Republic sixth and Olympic bronze medallist Switzerland seventh in the tournament. Japan was relegated to the ‘B’ world championships with Germany earning promotion to Plymouth.

The U.S., Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden have qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics with South Korea joining the field as the host country. The remaining two countries will be determined in qualifying tournaments in 2017.

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