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Team USA Drops Semifinal to Canada, Heads to Bronze Medal Match




Box score

Alexandra LaBelle had a hat trick with an assist, while she and her Canadian teammates scored three times on the power play to down Cassie Dunne and Team USA 8-1 in the World University Games semifinals in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Saturday morning.

The Americans will now close out the tournament with one chance remaining to secure Team USA's second modern-era WUG hockey medal, in the bronze medal match on Monday morning at 5:30 a.m. eastern. China, which was defeated by Russia in the opposite semifinals, will provide the opposition for the contest, which will be streamed on livefisu.tv.

In the game that assigned the U.S. that fate, a highly-skilled Team Canada - consisting of players from the nation's U Sports universities - wasted little time jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, thanks in part to their special teams. Midway through the first period, Jessica Cormier scored on a high power play deflection from Katelyn Gosling and Brianna Iazzolino. Kylie Gavelin made it 2-0 five minutes later on a tight shot that took an unfortunate bounce off of the paddle of Team USA goalie Lauren Allen (Grand Valley State), while Erica Rieder dented twine just 54 seconds after that. The U.S. took three minor penalties in that opening frame, part of an eventual eight for the game.

Allen, all in all, was stellar in defeat, making 50 saves against the 2009, 2011 and 2013 World University Games gold medalists in her first start of the tournament.

Arguably, the morning's key sequence, the one that pushed the result from attainable to not, came midway through the second period. Team USA's penalty trouble reached new heights when, with 30 seconds remaining on a tripping call to Kathleen Ash (Colorado), defensemen Becca Senden (Minnesota) and Nicole Matthews (Miami) committed infractions on the same play. With the two key blueliners unavailable, Canada cashed in twice during the extended 5-on-3 through Catherine DuBois and LaBelle.

The U.S. did have an answer late in the second period and Dunne was involved, although not in the way she would have liked.

After the Penn Stater took an extremely questionable hooking call with 3:50 remaining, Kendra Myers (Grand Valley State) won an offensive draw back to Matthews. Matthews delivered across to Senden, who ripped one home through a screen to get the Americans on the board.

That tally, however, was all that the Americans could manage. LaBelle polished off her hat trick in the third period, with a Kaitlin Willoughby goal thrown in for good measure, to clinch either gold or silver for Team Canada on Monday.

Dunne, for her part, was tabbed as a game starter for the second consecutive contest and was generally paired with usual defense partner Kelsey Jaeckle (Michigan State). She added the two minutes to her penalty total to remain in a tie for third tournament-wide in that category, continued to be a prominent part of Team USA's penalty kill. Dunne earned a -2 plus-minus for the contest, although only five red, white and blue skaters avoided a minus rating.

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.
TBD
Mon. Feb. 6
KAZ-GBR (5th-7th Placement)
2:00 a.m.
TBD
Mon. Feb. 6
Bronze-Medal Game
5:30 a.m.
Mon. Feb. 6
Gold-Medal Game
9:00 a.m.

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