HERNING, Denmark (AP) — Brianne Jenner scored twice in the second period and Canada defended its title with a 2-1 win over the United States in the women’s world hockey championship final on Sunday.
Ann-Renée Desbiens made 20 saves for Canada, which won gold in a third major international event in the span of a year.
Abby Roque scored for the Americans and Nicole Hensley stopped 17 shots in the loss.
Canada edged the U.S. 3-2 in overtime just over a year ago in Calgary in a world championship delayed to August because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada also beat the U.S. 3-2 in February’s Olympic women’s hockey final in Beijing.
“I think as a group, we came out and found a different way to win the championship,” Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin said. “We’re all aware we weren’t producing the numbers at the Olympics, but tonight we did it by blocking shots, killing penalties, the power play. We had to find other ways to win, and Ann-Renée made a couple of saves to get the win.”
Both Canada and the U.S. returned 18 players from their Olympic rosters. The Americans seemed to absorb what lineup changes there were quicker than Canada.
The U.S. went undefeated into the final, including a 5-2 win over Canada in the preliminary round, with a plus-47 goal differential compared to Canada’s plus-22.
In addition to moving the puck quicker and cleaner than it did in the loss to the U.S., Canada also defended more tenaciously in the box between and below the faceoff dots.
Trailing 2-1, the U.S. came close to pulling even on a pair of power-play chances in the third period, and also in a furious final minute with Hensley pulled for an extra attacker.
However, Desbiens held off the U.S. throughout the third period when Canada was outshot 12-6.
Canada and the U.S. have met in the final of all but one world championship since the inaugural tournament in Ottawa in 1990. Canada lost to host Finland in the 2019 semifinal.
Canada led 2-0 on a pair of Jenner goals 84 seconds apart until Roque made it 2-1 with her fourth power-play goal of the tournament at 19:39 of the second period.
Amanda Kessel drew Canadian defenders and Desbiens to her and threaded a goal-mouth pass to an unchecked Roque to score.
Jenner’s nine goals in February’s Winter Olympics matched a tournament record, but the veteran didn’t score in the world championship until Saturday’s semifinal win over Switzerland.
Jenner beat Hensley with a wrist shot from just below the faceoff dot for a power-play goal at 10:54. Jenner scored her first from the same area, but from a sharper angle.
She collected Poulin’s pass at the high boards, took the puck deep and handcuffed Hensley with a low shot far side at 9:30.
Canada outshot the U.S. 5-2 in a goal-free first period and went 0-for-2 on the power play.
U.S. forward Alex Carpenter hit the crossbar with three minute remaining in the period.
“Not the result we deserved,” U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schofield said. “A lot to be proud of, a lot to learn, a lot to build on to move forward as a group.”
The 2023 women’s championship will be held in Canada in a city yet to be announced, followed by the U.S. hosting it in 2024.
Canada and the United States will also square off in a seven-game Rivalry Series this winter.
The International Ice Hockey Federation introduced a top-tier women’s championship in the same year as the Olympic Games for the first time in 2022 to encourage federations to invest more consistently in women’s hockey.
Earlier Sunday, Czechia beat Switzerland 4-2 in the bronze medal game with Natalie Mlynkova scoring two goals. It was the Czechs’ first medal at the women’s worlds.
Japan beat Finland in a penalty shootout after three scoreless periods and overtime. Japan finished fifth with the win — its best finish at the tournament — and will play in Group A in 2023. Finland finished sixth, its lowest ever.
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