USA snaps five-game losing streak to rival Canada with win at Women’s World Hockey Championship

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The setting was Herning, not Beijing, but the United States will still be pleased with a 5-2 victory over Olympic champion Canada in group play at the women’s hockey world championship on Tuesday.

Megan Keller netted a goal and an assist to help the Americans beat their longtime rival and finish the group game unbeaten in central Denmark. The teams are big favorites to meet in Sunday’s final.

Canada, also the defending world champion, led 2-0 after first-half goals from Sarah Fillier and Ella Shelton. Keller kicked off the USA with a power play goal early in the second period and Kelly Pannek made it 2-2.

Lacey Eden scored the winner early in the third, with assists from Keller and Savannah Harmon, who also had an assist on Kendall Coyne Schofield’s goal to make it 4-2 with 6:32 to go.

Hilary Knight’s empty net brought her within a point of Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser’s total of 86 goals. Knight already holds the goalscoring record with 50.

The United States’ victory ended a five-game losing streak against Canada, which won gold at the Beijing Olympics by beating the Americans 3-2 in the final.

Nicole Hensley made 26 saves for the United States; Emerance Maschmeyer 28 for Canada.

In Thursday’s quarterfinals, the United States will face Hungary, while Canada will face Sweden. Winner of Group B, the Czech Republic will face Finland and Switzerland will face Japan.

The United States and Canada are the only two teams to have won the world championship, which began in 1990. Canada has won the title 11 times, two more than the United States.

The rivals have faced each other in all but one final – in 2019 when the Americans beat Finland in a shootout. The United States had won five consecutive titles before Canada broke the streak last year.

Czechia took first place in Group B by beating Sweden 3-0.

Finland secured third place in Group A with a 4-0 win over Switzerland, who played without captain Lara Stalder after testing positive for COVID-19.

Finland captain Jenni Hiirikoski was honored at a pre-match ceremony for her record 14th World Championship appearance.

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