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Hockey Canadian women edge U.S. 4-3 to push Rivalry Series to third game

Canada forward Ann-Sophie Bettez is pushed over United States goalie Katie Burt after Canada scored in the first period of Game 2 of the National Women's Team Rivalry Series in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Jamie Lee Rattray pushed the Rivalry Series to a third and deciding game.

Rattray’s third-period goal proved to be the winner as Canada earned a 4-3 decision over the arch-rival U.S. at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night. That tied the best-of-three series at a game apiece with the deciding contest scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Detroit.

Rattray’s first game-winning goal for Canada came at 7:06 of the third. It put the Canadians ahead 4-2 and gave them some much-needed breathing room.

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Rattray completed a nice give-and-go with Laura Stacey and Blayre Turnbull on a three-on-two break. And Canada needed it as Brianna Decker scored at 10:34 to pull the U.S. to within 4-3.

But Canadian goalie Genevieve Lacasse made a big stop with 1:11 remaining to preserve the win.

“That was only my second goal with Canada so it was pretty fun to score that one,” said Rattray, who finished with a goal and an assist. “Not a bad one to score.

“What a play by Blayre and Laura to get that puck over to me. I was pretty pumped when it went in, that’s for sure.”

Rattray converted a slick centring pass from Stacey and was surprised to see the puck come her way.

“She kind of looked me off and looked like she was going to shoot,” Rattray said. “She kind of faked everyone else in the building out.

“Luckily I was ready for it.”

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Marie-Philip Poulin also had a goal and an assist for Canada — which finished 2-for-6 on the power play — while Laura Fortino and Brianne Jenner scored the others. Lacasse made 24 saves.

Alex Carpenter and Hannah Brandt had the other goals for the U.S., which was 1-for-2 with the man advantage. Katie Burt stopped 26 shots.

Both goaltenders made nice stops early in the third. Burt turned aside Rattray at 4:47 before Lacasse halted a solid American rush less than a minute later.

The U.S. won the series opener 1-0 on Tuesday night before 9,036 spectators in London, Ont. Hilary Knight scored the game’s lone goal and Alex Rigsby made it stand, stopping 33 shots for the shutout.

Canadian goalie Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 20 shots.

Canada outshot the U.S. 14-5 in the first and led 3-2 at the intermission on Thursday. But it was the Americans who opened the scoring with Carpenter converting on the power play at 7:03.

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Poulin made it 1-1 just 1:44 later, scoring off another nice centring pass from Stacey. Brandt put the Americans back ahead at 10:30.

Again Canada tied the contest on Fortino’s power-play goal at 13:13. Then with 36 seconds remaining Jenner scored on the man advantage, sliding a loose puck past Burt on a goalmouth scramble.

The Canadians outshot the Americans 9-7 in a scoreless second and had ample opportunity to break the game open with four straight power-play chances — including a 20-second stretch with a two-man advantage. But the Americans killed off all four opportunities to keep it a one-goal game.

The U.S. pressed for the tying goal on the power play with under three minutes in the frame. Although Canada successfully killed the chance, the Americans kept the pressure on right to the end of the period.

“We found a way to score goals and we found a way early,” said Canadian coach Perry Pearn. “In these tight games if you win the special-teams game you often win the hockey game and tonight we won the special-teams game 2-1 and that’s the difference.”

American coach Bob Corkum was happy with his team’s start but said penalties in the second hurt.

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“We spent too much time playing with a player down in the second to be able to play our game and really hit our stride,” he said. “With that said, I’m proud of the way we competed until the final buzzer.

“We know we have some things to work on, and we’ll be ready to go again Sunday in Detroit.”

Decker said she and her teammates shoulder the blame for the loss.

“It’s not acceptable for us to take a game off, take a period off, take a shift off,” she said. “I think we all know we can be better.

“You have a split series now and winner takes all. That will be good for us heading into Sunday with that mentality.”

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