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History Made! Dunne, Team USA Win World University Games Bronze




Box score

In the grand scheme of things, women's club hockey players have a pretty limited opportunity to accomplish something that resonates across the globe. National and conference championships? All-American honors? All very meaningful, of course, but generally only recognized in ACHA-specific circles.

But winning a medal at a major international tournament? Then, the whole hockey world notices. In one shot, that's an opportunity to bring pride to your home country, validate the level of ACHA hockey to often-vocal doubters, and get your name in record books that last a lot longer than the next website update.

Cassie Dunne - who served as the squad's co-captain - and Team USA did just that with a 3-0 win over China early Monday morning in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the bronze medal match of the 2017 World University Games.

The win marks the second bronze medal for Team USA in three World University Games tournaments. In 2013, Lady Ice Lions goalie Katie Vaughan and former Lady Icers coach Mo Stroemel also made the podium. The U.S. is now just the fourth country to win multiple medals in the WUG women's hockey tournament, joining Canada, Russia and Finland.

It certainly didn't come easy from a battle-tested Chinese team that advanced out of a pool including juggernaut Canada and an always-tough Kazakhstan squad playing with home-soil inspiration.

For 40 minutes, the game was just about as tight as hockey games get, and one needs to look no further than the basic numbers: 0-0 score, 22-21 shots on goal. The shot count even split close to identically by period - 7-7 in the first, 15-14 China in the second.

Dunne and rest of the Team USA penalty kill was instrumental to the U.S. keeping the game in front of them in the early going. China earned four power plays in the first period but, as mentioned, only managed seven shots in 20 minutes despite having an extra player for eight of them.

Amber Greene (Massachusetts), who attended PSU for two years before transferring to her home-state flagship, showed her status as a big-game goalie in stopping all 28 shots she faced. That total included 15 in the second period, many coming in the opening stages of the frame, in what was arguably Team China's best stretch of the game.

Momentum started to turn when the U.S. finally earned a couple power plays of their own midway through the affair. While neither produced a goal in the short term, they did go a long way towards flipping the ice for the remainder of the contest.

The goals eventually did come of course, in the opening half of the third period.

Kendra Myers (Grand Valley State) went first, just 1:24 in. After some great backchecking work by Rachael Booth (Miami) near the U.S. line, Booth found RedHawks teammate Nicole Matthews near center. Matthews then fed a streaking Myers down the middle, where the veteran of the 2015 World University Games team coolly buried a wrister.

Then: Colorado's Leah MacArthur, who sniped from Jordan Anderson (Minnesota), after Anderson made a great chip-around zone entry off left wing and centered for the late-driving MacArthur with 15:30 left.

Finally: Michigan State freshman star Maddie Wolsmann for the clincher with 11:41 left. On the play, Wolsmann retrieved the puck in the right-wing corner, then circled all the way to center point, just inside the blue line, before firing all the way through.

From there, the game proved elementary, with the idea of preserving Greene's shutout down the stretch possibly providing enough edge to negate any celebratory laziness while playing with what still wasn't a completely insurmountable lead.

Either that, or champions just find a way to close out games without unnecessary drama.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Russia defeated Canada in the gold medal match for the second straight World University Games. Meanwhile, Japan won fifth place with a pair of wins in the consolation placement pool, with Kazakhstan and Great Britain rounding out the final standings.

Next up - after a long plane ride that won't feel all that long and undoubtedly a couple parties - Penn State's newest international hero will return stateside just in time for the Lady Ice Lions' upcoming senior weekend against Liberty, the first two of the final four games of her collegiate career.

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES STANDINGS


Pool A
GPWOTWOTLL+/-GF:GAPts.
1
x- Canada
3
3
0
0
0
+33
34:1
9
2
x- China
3
2
0
0
1
+7
17:10
6
3
Kazakhstan
3
1
0
0
2
-3
12:15
3
4
Great Britain
3
0
0
0
3
-37
0:37
0
X
Pool B
GPWOTWOTLL+/-GF:GAPts.
1
x- Russia
2
2
0
0
0
+15
17:2
6
2
x- United States
2
1
0
0
1
-5
4:9
3
3
Japan
2
0
0
0
2
-10
3:13
0
x - clinched semifinal berth

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES SCHEDULE


Date 
Game
Time (ET)Coverage/Result
Sat. Jan. 28
CAN-CHN (Group A)
5:30 a.m.
9-1
Sat. Jan. 28
KAZ-GBR (Group A)
9:00 a.m.
11-0
Sun. Jan. 29
USA-RUS (Group B)
1:30 a.m.
1-7
Mon. Jan. 30
CAN-GBR (Group A)
5:30 a.m.
14-0
Mon. Jan. 30
CHN-KAZ (Group A)
9:00 a.m.
4-1
Tues. Jan. 31
JPN-USA (Group B)
9:00 a.m.
2-3
Wed. Feb. 1
GBR-CHN (Group A)
5:30 a.m.
0-12
Wed. Feb. 1
KAZ-CAN (Group A)
9:00 a.m.
0-11
Thur. Feb. 2
RUS-JPN (Group B)
9:00 a.m.
10-1
Fri. Feb. 3
JPN-KAZ (5th-7th Placement)
9:00 a.m.
4-0
Sat. Feb. 4
CAN-USA (Semifinals)
5:30 a.m.
1-8
Sat. Feb. 4
RUS-CHN (Semifinals)
9:00 a.m.
10-1
Sun. Feb. 5
GBR-JPN (5th-7th Placement)
2:00 a.m.
2-9
Mon. Feb. 6
KAZ-GBR (5th-7th Placement)
2:00 a.m.
6-0
Mon. Feb. 6
CHN-USA (Bronze Medal)
5:30 a.m.
0-3
Mon. Feb. 6
CAN-RUS (Gold Medal)
9:00 a.m.
1-4

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