MALMO, SWEDEN – The United States defended its women’s world hockey championship with a 7-5 victory over Canada on Saturday.
Brianna Decker and Kendall Coyne scored for the U.S. in the third after the Americans blew a 5-2 lead. Anne Pankowski, Hilary Knight, Megan Keller, former Gopher Anne Schleper and Haley Skarupa also scored.
“We were tested and we knew how to respond,” Decker said.
U.S. veteran Jessie Vetter made nine saves and was relieved by Alex Rigsby after Canada’s fourth goal. Rigsby stopped 13 shots.
The U.S. has won five of the last six world titles.
“It was definitely a back-and-forth game,” said Knight who was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“I’m sure the fans loved it. And obviously you can come out with a smile on your face if you played hard and you come out with a win.”
Rebecca Johnston scored twice for Canada. Marie-Philip Poulin, Brigette Lacquette and Caroline Ouellette also scored.
“We had to start better today,” Ouellette said. “We never gave up. We fought until the end. We were able to come back and make it 5-5. For that, I’m so proud of my teammates, but it’s not enough to win.”
Canada’s Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped 16 of 20 shots in the first period. She was replaced at the start of the second by Genevieve Lacasse, who made 13 saves on 16 shots.
Canada had less than 24 hours to recover from a hard 3-0 win over Finland in their semifinal, while the U.S. had a few more hours of rest after its 13-1 romp over Russia.
Finland beat Russia 4-1 for the bronze medal. The 2016 women’s world championship will be held in Kamloops, British Columbia.