BRAMPTON, Ontario — Former University of Wisconsin standout Hilary Knight scored three times, including the go-ahead goal with 3:10 left in regulation, and the Americans won their 10th women’s world hockey championships gold medal and first in four years with a 6-3 win over cross-border rival Canada on Sunday night.
UW freshman Caroline Harvey had a goal and assist, and Abbey Murphy and Cayla Barnes, with an empty-net goal, also scored. The Americans scored four unanswered goals in the third period. Aerin Frankel stopped 24 shots. Knight upped her tournament-record career goal total to 61, while also extending her record point total to 101.
The Americans overcame three one-goal deficits before Knight scored twice in the span of 27 seconds to capitalize on a two-player advantage with the game tied at 3.
With Brianne Jenner off for tripping and Claire Thompson penalized 1:11 later for delay of game, Knight snapped in a shot from the mid-slot to beat Ann-Renee Desbiens, a former UW goalie, high on the glove side. Knight made it 5-3 by deflecting in Harvey’s shot from the left point.
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Jenner scored twice and added an assist, and Marie-Philip Poulin had a goal and assist for the Canada, which was seeking its 13th tournament title. Desbiens stopped 16 shots in losing her first tournament game in 17 career starts.
The Americans punctuated their victory by loudly, proudly and happily singing the U.S. national anthem. They won gold on Canadian soil, with the tournament being played in front of a largely pro-Canadian crowd in suburban Toronto.
The U.S. bounced back from losing the past two world championships to Canada, as well as the gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
The Americans last won gold in 2019, when they defeated host nation Finland 2-1 in a shootout, and after the Finns knocked out Canada in the semifinals.
Otherwise, Canada and the U.S. have met the tournament’s 21 other gold-medal games.
The win was a first for second-year U.S. coach John Wroblewski, who retooled an aging roster by featuring five players making their world championship debuts.
Knight honored Wrobleswski during the on-ice celebration by first presenting him the tournament’s gold trophy and then embracing him in an emotional hug.
The U.S. finished with a tournament-leading 43 goals, and bounced back from a 4-3 shootout loss to Canada in the preliminary round. And they beat a veteran-laden Canadian team that featured a majority of players who have been together since winning in Beijing.
The Americans responded each time after Canada scored, with Harvey tying the game at 3 at the 5:40 mark of the third period. Keeping the puck in at the left point, the 20-year-old defender took a few steps in and snapped a shot beating Desbiens on the glove side.
Harvey enjoyed a breakout tournament by finishing with four goals and a team-leading 14 points. This capped a phenomenal year for the 20-year-old player, who last month celebrated winning an NCAA title in her freshman year at UW.
Leave it to Knight to seal the victory in making her 13th tournament appearance, and a day after she suggested the Americans were peaking as the tournament progressed.
Denisa Krizova scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and added an assist and the Czech Republic won their second consecutive bronze medal with a 3-2 win over Switzerland in a rematch of last year’s third-place game.