Ann-Sophie Bettez (Sept-Îles, Que.) scored her first international goal to get Canada’s National Women’s Team within one in the second period, but it couldn’t get even in a 2-1 Rivalry Series loss to the United States on Tuesday night.
The loss puts Canada in a 2-0 hole in the five-game series after a 4-1 defeat Saturday in Hartford, Conn.
With the Canadians facing a two-goal deficit midway through the middle frame, Bettez got her stick on a chest-high shot off the side-boards from Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont.), redirecting it down and past U.S. netminder Aerin Frankel.
But Frankel stood her ground from there, particularly in the third period when the Canadians, in undoubtedly their best 20 minutes of the series so far, swarmed the American net; Canada outshot the U.S. 12-3 in the period.
The best opportunity came with just over 11 minutes left; the line of Bettez, Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.) and Jill Saulnier (Halifax, N.S.) peppered Frankel with at least five good scoring chances in a 30-second stretch but couldn’t find the equalizer.
The U.S. did its damage on offence in the first period, scoring twice.
Abby Roque netted her second goal in as many games less than three minutes in, keeping on a two-on-one and snapping a shot past Canadian goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) on the short side.
Alex Carpenter got the eventual game-winner at 14:09 tapping a shot past Desbiens after a bouncing puck found her stick at the side of the net.
Thanks to their third-period push, the Canadians finished with a 28-21 advantage in shots on goal.
The teams will take a 48-day break before the series resumes Feb. 3 in Victoria, B.C., before wrapping up with games Feb. 5 in Vancouver, B.C., and Feb. 8 in Anaheim, Calif.
“I don’t think it was the start we wanted. We wanted to put pressure on them, but we came out short in the first. They scored two quick goals and we kind of came out flat. After the first [period] we talked to each other, we came out hard in the second and third, but it was too late.”
– – Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) on the team’s slow start
“In the third period we had a lot more success on the rush, but I think it’s also a mindset. I don’t think we had a bad game plan going in, I just don’t think that we were intense enough to execute in the first period. The second period we had some momentum, got the goal and the game started to change and I thought we controlled the third period. You have to be so careful against the Americans; you can’t give them odd-man rushes and we did too much of that tonight.”
– – Head coach Perry Pearn (Stettler, Alta.) on his team’s effort and in-game adjustments