The Canadian national women’s hockey team, which includes former Okanagan Hockey Academy player Emily Clark (right), defeated the U.S. 2-1 in the preliminary round of the PyeongChang Olympics. Photo courtesy of USA Hockey

Olympics alert: Canada defeats U.S. in women’s hockey prelim

Former Penticton hockey player is playing with Canada at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

Canada came out on top in yet another classic women’s hockey battle against the U.S. as the two teams clashed in preliminary round play at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./University of Wisconsin) scored the game winner and goalie GeneviĆ©ve Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) turned aside 44 shots in Canada’s 2-1 victory.

Related: Okanagan Hockey Academy helped Clark pursue Olympic dream

Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Hockey Canada) got Canada on the board first with a powerplay goal at 7:18 in the first period. That carried over until late into the second period when Nurse fooled U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney with a top shelf shot instead of going for a pass across to her two teammates that entered the zone with her.

Lacasse stood tall for Canada as she stopped a penalty shot, the first time Canada has ever faced one in the Olympics, to keep the 2-0 lead to the end of the middle frame.

Related: Clark starts Canada’s bid for fifth-straight Olympic gold

However, just 23 seconds into the third period speedy U.S. forward Kendall Coyne got past the Canadian defenders and put the puck between the legs of the Canadian netminder to cut the lead to one. It would be the last puck that would get by the goalie, who withstood a powerplay late in the game and an extra attacker with the U.S. goalie pulled under a minute left in the game.

Related: Canada defeats Finland in Olympic women’s hockey

Okanagan Hockey Academy alumna Emily Clark recorded one shot in the game and played 12:24.

Both Canada and the U.S. had already booked their trips to the semi-finals on Feb. 18 with wins in both of their other preliminary round games. They will play the winners of the quarter-finals which will be played on Feb. 16 between Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Olympic Athletes from Russia.

The bronze medal game takes place on Feb. 20 at 11:40 p.m. (PST) and the gold medal final is on Feb. 21 at 8:10 p.m. (PST).

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