Haley Irwin and her Canadian teammates just need to keep things exactly the same to win the Four Nations Cup.
Irwin scored the winner early in the third period as Canada edged the United States 3-2 on Friday in the final round-robin game of the Four Nations Cup. Canada will play the Americans again on Saturday in the tournament’s gold-medal game.
“I thought we had really great energy and we sustained that through 60 minutes, it was a full game for us,” said Irwin. “I thought that’s something we could use going into tomorrow and use this as momentum.”
Meghan Agosta and Sarah Davis also scored as the Canadians (3-0) stayed undefeated at the event.
Canada and the United States have won every Four Nations Cup tournament since it was first held in 1996. The Americans have taken three of the past five gold medals, although Canada has won 14 out of 20 times.
“Our preparation doesn’t change. Our focus is definitely on tomorrow,” said Canadian head coach Laura Schuler, who said her team would rest and have a light activation skate Saturday morning ahead of the tournament’s final. “It’s going to be about our kids doing the little things that they did this evening. Executing the details of our game plan and bringing their work ethic once again tomorrow.”
Kendall Coyne and Amanda Pelkey supplied the offence for the U.S. (2-1).
Irwin put away the winner on the power play at the 5:59 mark of the third period. Captain Marie-Philip Pulin put the puck on the net through traffic and the rebound bounced out to Irwin.
“It just happened to come to me and I finished it off,” said Irwin. “But it was the hard work of other players that made it happen.”
Earlier Friday, Finland topped Sweden 2-1 in their final round-robin game. Those two teams will meet for bronze on Saturday