Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inspired U.S. Women Down Canada 2-0 to Open World Hockey Championship

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inspired U.S. Women Down Canada 2-0 to Open World Hockey Championship

Article excerpt

U.S. downs Canada 2-0 at world championship

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PLYMOUTH, Mich. - There was extra emotion in the U.S. women's centre-ice hug following their 2-0 win over Canada to open the world hockey championship Friday.

The Americans not only shook off the drama that preceded their tournament, but feel they're a stronger team after collectively demanding more financial support from USA Hockey and getting it.

The host country and defending champions didn't report to training camp and had threatened to boycott the world championship on home ice if their federation didn't give them more of what the men's teams get.

The U.S. women lacked on-ice preparation with just two practices together and no pre-tournament games, but exercising their bargaining power was the ultimate team-building activity.

"We're so united," U.S. forward Gigi Marvin said. "We were itching to be on the ice and it was displayed beautifully tonight, the unity, the support around the ice.

"It was something that means a lot especially after what we went through."

Brianna Decker scored late in the second period off a feed from Megan Bozek. Marvin scored the second goal threading a shot from the point through traffic early in the third.

Goaltender Nicole Hensley collected an 18-save shutout.

Edmonton's Shannon Szabados, playing in her first international tournament for Canada since the 2014 Olympics, stopped 26-of-28 shots in the loss.

The U.S. takes on Russia (1-0) followed by Canada versus Finland (0-1) in Saturday's Pool A Games.

Canada scored a combined eight goals to beat the U.S. in a two-game series in December, but their attack was lukewarm Friday.

The Americans carried a 20-9 margin in shots into the third period. The Canadians had a couple chances in the second period to strike first.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin hit the post five minutes into the second period and Meghan Agosta put a backhand off the post on a partial breakaway with seven minutes remaining.

Canada outshot the Americans 10-9 in the third, but the Canadians were held to the perimeter for the most part.

"We kind of stuck to the outside," Poulin said. "We put the puck on the net, but we didn't battle. …

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