PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Hilary Knight scored at 10:17 of overtime to give the United States a 3-2 victory over Canada in the women’s hockey world championship final Friday night, capping an emotionally charged two-week stretch that included an off-ice fight and victory against USA Hockey for better wages.
The Americans won their fourth straight title and eighth in the last 10 tries against their rivals, who will get their shot at revenge as defending Olympic champions next year in South Korea.
Brianne Jenner tied it at 2 for Canada midway through the third period on a power play after Kacey Bellamy’s second goal early in the period gave the Americans their first lead in the gold-medal game.
The U.S. had two power plays in the third period with 7:24 and 2:24 left along with another power play early in OT, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities to score a go-ahead goal with an extra skater.
Canada’s Meghan Agosta scored 1:01 into the game, and Bellamy tied it 3 1/2 minutes later.
Nicole Hensley stopped 28 shots for the U.S., and Shannon Szabados made 37 saves for Canada.
The Americans agreed to a landmark deal that allows them to make a living playing hockey just before the world championship began last week to avoid a boycott. And, they carried that momentum into the eight-nation tournament by dominating the competition until their rivals pushed them into OT.
The U.S. was the better team in the end, though, creating lots of scoring chances in the sudden-death period that could have lasted up to 20 minutes. It didn’t need that much time to finish the Canadians off with a second straight OT victory in a world championship gold-medal game.
Knight, who made a no-look, between-the leg pass to set up Bellamy’s second goal, was trailing on a 3-on-2 rush when Coyne dropped a pass to her and she scored from the inside of the left circle.
The Americans discarded their sticks and gloves onto the ice to celebrate together while the Canadians skated in the other direction, resting their gloves on their knees and staring at the ice in silence as a sold-out crowd at USA Hockey Arena roared.