ANAHEIM, Calif. – Megan Bozek provided a perfect ending to the Rivalry Series for the United States.
The defenseman's power-play goal 42 seconds into overtime gave the U.S. a 4-3 victory over Canada on Saturday night in front of the largest crowd to watch a women's national team game in America.
The game drew 13,320, surpassing the previous mark of 10,158 for a 2002 game against Canada in Detroit. It also gave U.S. four wins in the five games against its heated rivals.
“It seems like most our games end with some kind of power play, a scrum and a goal,” U.S. forward Amanda Kessel said. “We had a lot of space with (Megan) Keller and Bozek up top. I'm really happy for her that she found the back of the net.”
Bozek had a goal and an assist for the U.S., which was down 3-2 after two periods before rallying. They tied it up nine minutes into the third when Monique Lamoureux-Morando deflected in Emily Matheson's shot from the point.
Hilary Knight and Dani Cameranesi also scored for the U.S., and Emily Matheson had a pair of assists. Alex Cavallini made 17 saves to pick up her second win in the series.
Jill Saulnier had a goal and an assist, while Loren Gabel and Mélodie Daoust also scored for Canada. Geneviève Lacasse made 26 saves.
“What we learned from this series is there are still some positives and we have to keep tweaking certain aspects of our game,” Daoust said.
U.S. coach Bob Corkum, who was part of the first Anaheim Mighty Ducks team, said his team was sloppy in the neutral zone the first 40 minutes before making adjustments.
“We were more clean out of the zone in the third period and let most of our work be done in the offensive zone,” he said. “Our blue line was solid. Alex weathered the storm and the team helped her out until she got her feet under her.”
Canada coach Troy Ryan thought his squad came out tentative before settling in.
“I told them we have nothing to lose and to be aggressive,” he said.
Both teams scored their first goal 24 seconds apart in the first period. Hilary Knight opened the scoring at 2:37 with a deflection of Bozek's shot from the point. Knight finished as the leading goal-scorer in the series with three and tied for the most U.S. points with four.
Canada quickly tied it with Saulnier's shot from slot off a pass from Rebecca Johnston.
Canada grabbed a 2-1 advantage with 3:28 remaining in the first when Gabel finished a two-on-one by beating Cavallini on her glove side. Cameranesi evened it with 1:36 left with a shot that got past Lacasse on her short side.
Daoust put Canada back on top 2:56 into the second period with a backhand from in front of the net. The goal was set up when Jessie Eldridge forced a turnover behind the U.S. net and fed it to Daoust.
NOTES: Alex Carpenter also had four points in the series for the U.S. (two goals, two assists). ... Annie Pankowski, who grew up in Laguna Hills, California, and played in the Ducks girls youth hockey programs, had an assist on Lamoureux-Morando's goal. ... The U.S. outscored Canada 15-9 in the series.