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Canada clinched Group A with inspiring goaltending performance

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With a total of five goals scored in an exciting second period, Canada and the United States renewed rivalries in their final preliminary round match. Both undefeated heading into the match, Canada clinched first place in Group A with a 4-2 triumph, the win attributed to a superlative goaltending performance of 51 saves.

Between the pipes were a pair of WCHA alumnae. Former Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog Maddie Rooney earned the start for the US. Ann-Renee Desbiens, who played for Miracle on Ice member Mark Johnson with the Wisconsin Badgers, guarded the Canadian crease.

Canada’s Brianne Jenner recorded the only goal of the first period. Her second of the tournament, team captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Sarah Fillier logged the assists.

Responding in the second period, the US scored twice to gain their first lead of the game. Dani Cameranesi, another WCHA alumnae, logged the first goal at the 9:17 mark.

Following Cameranesi, second generation skater Alexandra Carpenter provided the US with their first lead. With Emily Clark serving a boarding penalty, Carpenter took advantage of the power play opportunity, with assists credited to Amanda Kessel and Megan Keller.

The 2-1 advantage would not be enjoyed for long. Jenner found the back of the net once again, tying the score 26 seconds later.

In a timespan of 5:25, Canada scored three unanswered goals. Following Jenner, Jamie Lee Rattray provided Canada with its second lead of the game.

Three minutes later, Cayla Barnes was called for hooking, as Canada was awarded its first penalty shot of the tournament. Soaring across the ice, Marie-Philip Poulin did not disappoint, placing the puck past Rooney, extending the Canadian lead by two goals.

As a side note, it marked the second consecutive day that a player scored on a penalty shot. Previously, Sweden’s Felicia Winker-Zienkiewicz scored on Chinese goaltender Jiang Zhou (Kimberly Newell) in their upset win.

With a scoreless third period, Desbiens emerged as the hero of the game for Canada. Recording 51 saves, she rose to the occasion in the third.

Facing 21 shots from the US, while Canada only mustered six, Desbiens played brilliantly. Taking into account that the third also saw a pair of power play opportunities for the US, it marked a peerless performance.

Canada emerged undefeated in preliminary round play, winning Group A. Seeded first overall for quarterfinal play, Canada shall face-off against the third place team from Group B. Holding the second overall seed, the US and the second place team from Group B will comprise a quarterfinal match.

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