DENMARK — Canada found a way to another women’s world hockey title after its Olympic triumph earlier this year and world championship gold a year ago.
Amongst their 23 players, Jamie Lee Rattray and Jocelyn Larocque of the Metis Nation and Victoria Bach with Mohawk ancestry were defensive and offensive assets.
And Canada played its best game of the tournament in Sunday’s 2-1 win over arch-rival U.S. in the final.
The Canadian women won their third major international title in the span of a year after beating the U.S. 3-2 for Olympic gold in February in Beijing, and 3-2 in overtime in the 2021 world championship final just over a year ago.
Canada lost 5-2 in the preliminary round to a U.S. team that was ready to reclaim supremacy.
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 the Canadians, who were juggling forward line combinations throughout the tournament in an effort to find chemistry.
Canada’s execution in an 8-1 semifinal win over the Swiss indicated the defending champions were finding their form. But the U.S. went undefeated into the final with a plus-47 goal differential compared to Canada’s plus-22, whereas Canada had boasted high offensive power in Beijing.
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 face-off dots.
U.S. forward Abby Roque, a member of the Wahnapitae First Nation, scored her team-leading fourth power-play goal of the tournament with less than a minute to play in the second period, was mentioned as calling out the Canadians for diving.
Czechia reached the final four and the podium for the first time Sunday defeating Switzerland 4-2 for the bronze medal.