For USA Hockey and Minnesota, Thursday will be a day to remember for both the Under-18 and Under-22 Select women’s teams. Playing the second game of a three-game series against Canada in Lake Placid, N.Y., both the under-18 and under-22 squads earned victories over their top rivals.
The U-18 team did so in dramatic fashion in the afternoon, thanks to Gophers recruit Abbey Murphy of Evergreen Park, Ill. Murphy (pictured) scored the tying goal with 8 seconds left in the third period, then the winner on a power play 1:32 into overtime, giving the U.S. a 3-2 victory over Canada. The Canadians had taken a 2-1 lead with 49 seconds left in the third.
The U.S. also got a goal from Danielle Burgen of Chisago Lakes, which helped the Americans tie the series 1-1 following Canada’s 5-4 victory on Wednesday. Gophers recruits Peyton Hemp and Maggie Nicholson each had an assist, as did Lacey Eden of Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
The finale is 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Talk about resiliency,’’ said U.S. coach Maura Crowell, who also is Minnesota Duluth’s head coach. “This was a much tighter game than the first one, but a couple plays were made, and we were able to come back in the end. It says a lot about our team."
On Thursday night, the U.S. U-22 team scored three third-period goals to beat Canada 4-2 and win the series. Team USA won Wednesday’s opener 3-2 in overtime. The finale is 6 p.m. Saturday.
Minnesotans were a big factor in Thursday’s win. Minnetonka’s Presley Norby, who plays for Wisconsin, tied the score 1-1 with a first-period goal. Natalie Snodgrass of Eagan gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead 2:31 into the third period. After Canada tied it 2-2 at 6:40, Hannah Blinka gave Team USA the lead for good at 15:10, on assists from the Gophers’ Taylor Heise and Madeline Wethington. Sydney Brodt, a Minnesota Duluth standout from North Oaks, scored for a 4-2 lead at 18:33, with Heise assisting.
“This was another highly competitive game," said U.S. coach Joel Johnson, the Gophers’ associate head coach. “Our players came together and worked really hard to get the win in the end. Hopefully we can keep that energy and momentum heading into Saturday’s game.’’