Canada beats USA 5-1 to take top spot at women’s world hockey championship

Jamie Lee Rattray scored twice and Canada overwhelmed the United States 5-1 on Thursday night in the women’s world hockey championship, ending the Americans’ winning streak in event at 29 games.

Canada (4-0) took the top spot in Group A to set up a quarterfinal Saturday against the loser of the late Group B game between Germany and Japan.

The United States (3-1) will face the Germany-Japan winner.

Melodie Daoust, Renata Fast and Sarah Nurse also scored to help 10-time champion Canada hand the United States its first loss in the event since the Canadians won 3-2 in a shootout on April 2, 2013.

Ann-Renee Desbiens made 22 saves, allowing only Lee Stecklein’s goal early in the third.

“Obviously, not the game we were hoping for,” U.S. coach Joel Johnson said.

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“Canada played really well and I give most of the credit to them. By the time we generated any positive play, the game was kind of out of reach.

“We’re going to go back and try and fix what we can do, because we are better than what we showed tonight.”

Goalie Nicole Hensley, right, of the United States, reaches for the puck as Canada’s Rebecca Johnston shoots wide during third period IIHF Women’s World Championship hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press

Daoust started the rout at 7:13 of first period, with the puck rebounding off the back boards and into the slot for her to hammer it past goalie Alex Cavallini.

Fast scored with 6:10 left in the first when she chipped the puck over the sprawling Cavallini and through a maze of sticks and defenders. Canada outshot the U.S. 15-4 in the period.

Rattray scored twice in a 2:58 span early in the second to break it open — and chase Cavallini. Rattray made it 3-0 at 4:18, picking up a rebound off Brianne Jenner’s shot on a 2-on-1 break and slipping it inside the left post, and easily beat Cavallini on a wraparound at 7:16.

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Cavallini stopped 16 of the 20 shots on goal she faced, with the U.S. only having five shots when she was pulled.

Nicole Hensley took over in goal for the U.S., and gave up a short-handed goal on the first shot she faced when Sarah Nurse whistled a shot into the upper-right corner with 9:24 left in the period.

Family members cheer a Team Canada goal during second period IIHF Women’s World Championship hockey action against United States in Calgary, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press

Earlier, Petra Nieminen had a natural hat trick and added an assist in the first period to help Finland beat Switzerland 6-0.

Finland (2-2) finished third in Group A to set up a quarterfinal against the Group B champion Czech Republic (4-0). Switzerland (0-4) will face Russia (1-3) in the quarterfinals.

Canada and the United States met for the first time since Feb. 8, 2020, when the U.S. won 4-3 in overtime in Game 5 of the Rivalry Series in Anaheim, California.

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The United States has won nine titles, winning the last five championships, eight of the last nine and nine of the last 11. It outscored its first three opponents in Calgary 12-0, beating Switzerland and Finland 3-0 and routing Russia 6-0.

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