After falling to Team Canada in the preliminary round, the USA Women’s National team sought a taste of revenge as they faced rival Canada in the gold medal game of the annual Four Nations Cup. A 3-1 loss earlier in the weekend didn’t slow down the USA Women’s National team in their efforts to capture gold against Canada in Sweden at the 2011 Four Nations Cup earlier this month.
Shutout victories against Sweden and Finland in the preliminary round led the US team to the championship against Canada, the 101st all-time meeting between the teams. Team USA led off the scoring with goal from Kelli Stack at the 1:10 mark of the first period. After Caroline Ouellette tied the score 1-1 in the second period, Whitecaps veteran Jenny Potter, the only current Whitecap on the USA roster, made it 2-1 USA on the power play at the 2:36 point in the third period. It was Potter’s second goal of the tournament. Canada again tied the game in the third period, but Kelli Stack notched her second goal of the game to put Team USA 3-2 with just under 10 minutes remaining. Outshot 50-34 and on their heals all night, Canada got a late goal by Natalie Spooner pushing the game into overtime with her second goal of the game. After a scoreless overtime period, the game went to a deciding three-player shootout where Hilary Knight tallied a goal in the third round giving Team USA the gold medal win over Team Canada 4-3 in a shootout.
It was USA’s first gold medal in the Four Nations Cup since 2008 in Lake Placid, New York and their fourth all time. USA and Canada have met in the championship game of the Four Nations Cup every year since the tournament’s inauguration in 1996, excluding 2001 when the United States did not participate due to the events of September 11th.
The Minnesota Whitecaps were represented at the 2011 Four Nations Cup by Edina native Jenny Potter. Potter, a veteran of four Olympics, has been with the Whitecaps since 2006. Along with scoring the second goal of the gold medal game, Potter was Team USA’s fifth leading scorer in the tournament registering 5 points (2 G, 3 A). In August, Potter scored her 100th career goal for Team USA. Former Whitecaps competing for USA at the Four Nations Cup this year were Gigi Marvin, Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Julie Chu, and Karen Thatcher. Potter and Chu served as alternate captains for the final game against Canada.
WWHL Season Opener in Thunder Bay
The Western Women’s Hockey League season opener will take place at the Fort William First Nations Arena in Thunder Bay with the Minnesota Whitecaps matching up against the Manitoba Maple Leafs. A two game series starts with the first game scheduled to be the featured game at the Thunder Bay Queens Showcase Tournament on Saturday, December 10th with the puck dropping at 7:30pm. After the game will be a meet and greet between the players and fans. Game two takes place at 11:30am also at Fort William First Nation Arena.
Next home game for the Whitecaps will be Friday, January 6, 7:30pm at the Rosemount Ice Arena and Saturday, January 7, 6:00pm at the Waconia Ice Arena.