Victoria Bach opened the scoring with an early power-play goal, but Canada’s National Women’s Team couldn’t get another in a 4-1 loss to the United States on Saturday. © Bill Mercey/USA Hockey

HARTFORD, Conn. – Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont.) opened the scoring on an early power play, but Canada’s National Women’s Team dropped a 4-1 decision to the United States to open the Rivalry Series on Saturday night.

The game marked the 150th meeting between the North American rivals; despite the defeat, Canada still leads the all-time series 84-65-1.

Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ont.) turned in a 27-save performance in defeat for the Canadians, who outshot the U.S. 32-31.

Coming off a pair of wins over the Americans in a series in Pittsburgh last month, Canada jumped out to an early advantage when Bach got a wrist shot through traffic and past the glove of U.S. goaltender Alex Cavallini at 6:45.

Jamie Bourbonnais (Mississauga, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que.) drew the assists on Bach’s third goal in as many games against the Americans this season.

The U.S. answered back just over two minutes later on a man advantage of its own; Annie Pankowski drove down the right side before finding Megan Keller at the back-door for the 1-1 goal.

Canada controlled the play for much of the second period, outshooting the Americans 15-9, but found itself trailing after 40 minutes when late penalty trouble led to an Amanda Kessel goal at five-on-three.

The U.S. carried the momentum into the third, netting a pair of goals in the first five minutes.

Abby Roque made it a two-goal game at 2:49, roofing a backhand over the short-side shoulder of Lacasse, and the puck pinballed to Alex Carpenter for the 4-1 goal 1:15 after that, finishing the scoring.

The series shifts north for the next three games in the series, beginning Tuesday night in Moncton, N.B. (7:30 p.m. AT, TSN).


“It’s a dream to be able to represent your country. Every game you look up in the stands, see all the young girls and everyone there to watch you, it’s pretty incredible. Every chance you get, you leave it all out on the ice; it was an exciting atmosphere tonight and I’m really excited for Moncton. If we can come out flying (on Tuesday), that just builds momentum and the first five minutes is the most important. If we can eliminate turnovers, bring a lot of energy and get a lot of shots, I think we’ll be successful.”

–      – Bach on the atmosphere and looking ahead to the rematch on Tuesday


“A month ago we jumped hard from the start in Pittsburgh, put the U.S. on its heels and it was the total opposite here. They jumped hard, put us back and we never got the game going the way we need to play to beat them. We have to get pucks behind them, play low in their zone and we didn’t do that tonight.”

–      – Head coach Perry Pearn (Stettler, Alta.) on the difference between tonight and the two-game sweep in November