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Canada claimed its first women’s hockey world championship in nearly a decade on Tuesday when Marie-Philip Poulin scored the winner in overtime in a 3-2 victory over the United States.
The Canadians won gold nine years after their last time to the top of the podium in 2012, and after failing to reach the final for the first time in tournament history in 2019.
The United States had won five world titles in a row and eight of the previous nine.
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Poulin scored at 7:22 in overtime 3 on 3. Brianne Jenner passed the puck to the captain, whose shot went over the crossbar and into the net.
The goal was initially disallowed by an official on the ice, but the Canadians were soon stacked on top of each other in celebration.
“It’s been a while since 2012. It’s been a long time,” Poulin said. “The team showed up tonight and I think we stayed resilient.”
Assistant captain Blayre Turnbull suffered a leg injury during the celebratory clash.
She was pulled off the ice before returning to celebrate from a stretcher with her teammates during the Canadian anthem.
Jenner scored a goal and two assists and Jamie Lee Rattray also scored for Canada. Defender Jocelyne Larocque had two assists. Ann-Renee Desbiens made 23 saves in the victory.
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Alex Carpenter scored twice as American Nicole Hensley parried 29 shots in the loss.
Canada and the USA required more time to decide the world champion for the fifth time in their last seven gold medal matches.
“That’s why it’s the biggest rivalry in sports,” US forward Amanda Kessel said.
The United States led 2-0 after the opening period on both Carpenter goals, but the hosts tied for the second.
Rattray took advantage of Larocque’s shot from the spot between Hensley’s pads for the equalizer at 6:42.
Jenner halved the deficit with a 4:13 power goal. In a goal scorer fight, the assistant captain went backhand to right to beat Hensley’s glove.
Carpenter spun and poked the puck under Desbiens for a power play goal at 12:35 in the first period.
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Desbiens had gloved Lee Stecklein’s shot from point, but dropped the puck in front of her. Carpenter moved his own bounce between Desbiens pads at 9:55.
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Canadian Melodie Daoust, who was named tournament MVP, led the tournament in scoring with six goals and six assists in seven games.
Poulin reinforced her reputation as a gold scorer. He scored two goals for Canada in a 2-0 victory over the Americans to win Olympic gold in 2010.
The 30-year-old from Beauceville, Que., Scored a late draw and overtime winner against the United States four years later for another Olympic gold.
Poulin did not play in a 5-1 win over the United States in the preliminary round in Calgary. She had received a severe blow to the upper chest earlier in the tournament.
His laser on Hensley’s shoulder on Tuesday brought Canada to the top of the international women’s hockey podium again.
“If she sees the 29th open, she has to put it on her cane and she does the rest,” Jenner said.
Canada was undefeated in the championship in Calgary.
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Troy Ryan won his first tournament as Canada’s head coach.
He faces the possibility of Turnbull being sidelined as Canada prepares for the February Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“It looked bad. He was right next to her when she came out of the ice. Obviously a terrible situation, ”Ryan said.
The Canadians did not reach the final for the first time in the history of the women’s championship in 2019, when they lost 4-2 to host Finland in a semi-final in Espoo.
The COVID-19 pandemic choking international women’s hockey meant a long wait for another shot at gold.
The 2020 women’s championship in Halifax and Truro, NS, was canceled. Those communities were rewarded with the tournament again in 2021.
After a postponement from April to May, Nova Scotia’s prime minister at the time closed the tournament on the day the teams left for the province.
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The men’s under-18 championship in Texas in April and the men’s world championship in Latvia in May were completed.
Hockey Canada relocated and rescheduled the women’s championship in Calgary in August, less than six months before the Olympics.
Hockey Canada did not sell tickets in Calgary. Only family members were able to enter a dedicated section of WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Center.
Players from other countries watched Tuesday’s final from across the arena.
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Players, team personnel and officials were screened for COVID-19 prior to arrival, during a five-day quarantine prior to the tournament, and during the event.
They were confined to the tournament hotel and arena, and traveled by bus between the two sites.
There were no positive tests for the coronavirus in more than 3,000 performed, and all teams will be allowed to travel on Wednesday, the International Ice Hockey Federation said Tuesday.
Finland beat Switzerland for the bronze medal early Tuesday.
Canada, the United States, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and host China have places on the 10-nation Olympic women’s hockey field. The remaining three spots will be filled through Olympic qualifying tournaments in November.
The IIHF is expected to approve in September the addition of the women’s championship to the Olympic years from 2022 in August. A host city has not yet been named.
The women’s tournament would return to the spring in non-Olympic years.
The IIHF is also expected to expand the women’s rosters to 25, including three goalkeepers, to equal the men’s rosters at future world championships.
© 2021 The Canadian Press