BRAMPTON, Ontario — 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.
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.
“It’s been a while,” Knight said of winning her ninth tournament gold, but first since 2019.
“It’s hard to beat Canada. It’s hard to be Canada in Canada, right? So we definitely felt like an underdog,” Knight added. “People are always rooting against us, but somehow we persevere and it feels sweeter that way. ”
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 high on the glove side. Knight made it 5-3 by deflecting in Harvey’s shot from the left point.
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.
“I think we’re in a little bit of disbelief now. Not that we don’t know the opponent is a great hockey team, but we believe so fully in our group,” Jenner said.
“I think there’s a lot of moments in that game. You know, I think it’d be easy to put blame elsewhere. But I think we have to look at ourselves,” Jenner added. “I mean we’ve got to figure out a way to hold those leads.”
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.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s just one of the better ones that we’ve won. Being down and coming back like that,” veteran forward Amanda Kessel said. “Beating Canada is never easy. And they kind of had our number there for a while. So I think we were ready to get back at them there.”
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. U.S. hasn’t defeated Canada with a gold medal on the line since the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.
Otherwise, Canada and the U.S. have met in the world 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 Wisconsin.
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.
Kiira Yrjanen scored the go-ahead goal 6:48 into the second period, and Finland is returning to Group A in next year’s world championships following a 3-1 win over Sweden on Sunday. The Finns, who have won 13 silver medals and a silver in 2019, bounced back after finishing a tournament-worst seventh last year in Denmark.