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Team USA beats Canada in shoot out

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In their third of four meetings this month, the U.S. National Women's Hockey Team faced Team Canada Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.

Center Kelli Stack opened scoring for USA at 13:54 of the first period, assisted by right wing Alex Carpenter. The second goal of the game, also for USA, came with just nine seconds left in the second period. Carpenter backhanded a rebound shot behind Canada’s goalie, Charline Labonte, after a strong effort by Team USA’s defense to keep the puck in the attacking zone. Stack and Megan Bozek assisted on Carpenter’s goal.

Canada tied the game with two goals in the third period. Canada’s first goal, from Meghan Agosta-Marciano, assisted by Hayley Wickenheiser, came during a 4-on-4. Their second goal was during a 4-on-3 advantage by Marie-Philip Poulin, assisted by Courtney Birchard and Catherine Ward.

USA tallied 29 shots during the game, Canada had 39. The exhibition ended in a NHL-style shoot out with the game-winning goal coming from Hilary Knight.

Goalie Jessie Vetter had an impressive night stopping 37 shots during the game and shutting out Jayna Hefford, Caroline Ouellette, and Meghan Agosta-Marciano in the shootout.

After the game, Coach Katey Stone noted that although the team has a nice winning streak going, they "didn’t play great tonight." Tonight's game marked the third victory over Canada in a row, but that comes after losing the first three meetings of the tour to our neighbors to the north.

“These games are important, but we’re not going to live and die by them. We have to keep sticking to our plan...and make sure that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Stone.

Last week, Team USA defeated Canada, 4-1, at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The teams will meet one final time before Sochi on December 28 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont.

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