Canada beat Team USA 2-1 in the IIHF Women’s World Championship final on Sunday in Denmark, as hockey’s biggest competition added another exciting chapter.
Goalkeeper Anne-Rene Despens scored 19 saves in the win, some in the last moments of the third half, while striker Brian Jenner scored two goals in 1:24 during the second half.
“Sometimes you have to squeak at the end and rely on goal kicks and blocking shots,” Jenner said after the match. “We found a way to do it.”
Canada now has 12 women’s world gold medals versus nine for the Americans. The United States or Canada have won gold at the women’s worlds at every tournament since the event began in 1990. They have met each other in every tournament final except in 2019, when the United States defeated Finland for the gold medal.
Team USA has won eight of the past 10 encounters with Canada at the World Championships and has won gold in five of the past six tournaments. Canada has now won gold at back-to-back IIHF World Championships, matching its gold medal win over the Americans at the Beijing Olympics earlier this year.
Sunday’s match witnessed a goalless first half and an uncharacteristically low number of shots between the two teams. But Team Canada came back to life in the second period thanks to Jenner, who was the best player at the Beijing Olympics. Jenner got a pass from teammate Mary Phillip Boleyn and beat American goalkeeper Nicole Hensley at 9:30 of the second half to take a 1-0 lead.
The Americans gave Canada more momentum when Hannah Brandt left to climb after just 26 seconds. Jenner scored her second goal in the match that followed to give Canada a 2-0 advantage. But the United States scored the decisive goal 21 seconds before the end of the second half, with Abby Rocky hitting a perfect cross from Amanda Kessel on the strong play.
The Americans pushed in the third period, including the frantic final two minutes as Hensley retired. But Despains made a strong save while Pauline fired a decisive export late in the game to secure the win.
The loss was Team USA’s first at the 2022 World Championships, having been undefeated in the preliminary round (beating its four opponents 30-3, including a 5-2 win over Canada) and playoffs.