After our pre-game routine and warm up, we came out strong at the beginning of the game. We started swinging the puck early on, and made it to Canada’s end of the pool quite quickly. After a few minutes of play in the open pool, Tyera and Kim swam the puck into our offensive corner. We drove the puck at their goal over and over again, but they barely saved it each time. We were really close to their goal for the rest of the half, but never quite got it into the trough. At half time the score was still 0-0.
The second half both teams started hard. Canada began to play more in the open, but we were ready and shut down all of their runs up the middle. Canada pushed the puck into our end of the pool but they were stopped short by Tyera, who found an opening and swam it to the wall right in front of our sub box, allowing us to bring in a useful set of fresh players. Kim subbed in and drove the puck almost all the way to our offensive corner. The battle continued until Ianna launched a monster pass into the goal! Breathing a bit easier we headed back to the wall, knowing that we were starting to wear them down.
Off the strike we drove it into Canada’s end of the pool pretty quickly. There were multiple swings done by both teams. This apparently tired out the Canadians because Tyera, after a hard drive up the wall, swam around half their team and scored us another goal! The next strike did not go as smoothly as the past few and the play ended up in our end. It was a bit scary for a while! We were tangled up in front of our goal when a Canadian shot the puck, missing our goal by a couple feet. Luckily the person there was Tyera, who swam the puck a safe distance away from our goal. After that we worked our way up the side wall and reached the offensive corner again. Eventually a Canadian tried to clear the puck across the goal, and it almost worked, except Katrina smashed the puck back towards the goal under the Canadian player. Bryna was there, ready for the pass and shoved the puck into the goal. Now the score was 3-0, with just a minute left in the game. Canada got us hard on the last strike, trying to get at least one goal in. We contained it well, and the game ended with no more goals. The entire team felt great! It was good to win a game after the disappointment of the day before. We finished 7th place overall!
You can re-watch the game here: https://youtu.be/9gnqkmh0sUY
Overall, this world championships was all that we could have asked for despite placing lower than we would have liked. We improved and learned a lot as a team throughout this process. Since the last world championships in 2016 in South Africa, many of us have trained harder to try do better than the competition, but the competition did as well. Each time we come to a world championships, we are a little better than the last time, but so is our competition. We are humbled by the increasing level of play at the world championships. That is why we play the sport, for these moments of heartbreak and exuberance, we are just hoping for a little more exuberance the next time.
We want to thank all of our family, friends, supporters and the world wide hockey community. This sport has allowed us to compete at a high level while also making friends all over the world. Thank you to Navisjon for helping improve the quality of video to help spread UWH, the video streaming was incredible this year. If you enjoyed the free streaming, don't forget to donate here, to help continue to improve the quality of video.
Thanks again, and until next time!
-Team USA Women Elite