Kendall Coyne Schofield competes in the gold medal match at the 2021 IIHF World Women’s Championship on August 31, 2021 in Calgary, Canada.
“It was awesome,” Harmon said. “I think our forwards did a really good job with sustained pressure and I was able to slip in a bit, I made a nice pass from the zone and I shot my shot and immediately I thought he had come in and celebrated, and then when the game continued I got a little nervous, but I looked and saw the referee, so I was a little relieved.
The United States managed to end a late power play that straddled the end of regulation time and extra time, with Hensley making several big saves. But she couldn’t stop Poulin, who was one-on-one with his choice of spots to choose from. She searched her top shelf to the delight of the few maple leaf clad fans among the nearly full crowd.
In addition to making the start for the first time since the November 21 game on tour, Hensley received a special honor ahead of the game. In January, she will be inducted into the nearby Lindenwood University Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to the Lions program as a player and coach. The 29th United States team made more saves at Lindenwood than any other goaltender in the history of women’s college hockey.
“It was amazing, it was one of the most exciting and also the most nervous games that I have been for a game in a long time. There were so many signs and so many 29 shirts in the crowd that I really didn’t expect it. But St. Louis has always had a special place in my heart and playing in front of all these little girls that I’ve trained over the years was quite special.
The St. Louis leg of the My Why tour is now complete as the US travels to St. Paul, Minnesota for the final US game of the tour. They will be looking for their first home win, as, oddly enough, the road team have won every game on the tour so far. The “State of Hockey” is where the Olympic team roster will be revealed during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis.
As the Olympics draw closer and closer, matches against top contenders like Canada are going to prove invaluable as the United States looks to defend its gold medal. Three of the six touring games so far have been in overtime, and no other game has been decided by more than two goals. The US and Canada are so equal, these are the little things coaches will be watching.
“I think it helps us identify what we need to pay attention to,” Johnson said. “We were talking here after the game, a lot of frustration that we couldn’t find a way to score. But at the same time when you lose you have to look at the tape and you look at yourself in the mirror like a coach and you say what could I have done differently? … It’s one of those things I’ll never say, ‘Well, that’s going to help us because we’ve lost.’ Losing doesn’t help. However, you can learn from every game you play.
After two tough overtime losses, players can see bright spots in the process and believe the payoff is yet to come.
“I think we are going in the right direction,” Hensley said. “I think throughout the residency there was a ton of improvements and our group got closer and closer on and off the ice as they went on and I think that’s all you can ask for. We feel like we’ve had a lot of small wins as we go along, but we want to start showing that on the scoreboard.