Grace Zumwinkle (left) and Gabbie Hughes (right) both scored for Team USA Wednesday.

Zumwinkle and Hughes score in loss

TEAM USA leads series 3-2

SASKATOON, Sask. – The U.S. Women’s National Team dropped a 4-2 decision to Canada in game five of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series at the SaskTel Center, but maintains a 3-2 advantage in the best-of-seven competition.

Game six is set for Friday (Feb. 9) at the Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan with opening faceoff set for 8 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on NHL Network in the U.S.

“They deserved to win tonight,” said John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. “We pushed hard this game, but just lost it at the end. We’ll be ready to go for game six.”

Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) opened the scoring for Team USA just under three minutes into the game. After a scramble in front of the net that left a loose puck in the crease, Zumwinkle tapped it across the line for her first goal of the 2023-24 Rivalry Series.

Not even a minute later, Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) stopped a breakaway attempt by Canada’s Emily Clark to maintain the U.S. advantage.

The contest remained 1-0 through the first, despite multiple power plays for the U.S. and good looks for Canada.

Early in the second Canada knotted the game on the power play. Natalie Spooner unleashed a shot from the right point that hit Hensley, but Brianne Jenner was waiting to clean up the rebound off Hensley’s left pad.

Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes, Minn.) put the U.S. up 2-1 in the waning minutes of the second. After circling behind the net, Abby Roque (Sault St. Marie, Mich.) found Hughes on the doorstep, who one-timed it through the five-hole of Canada netminder Ann-Renee Desbien.

With 8:31 remaining in the final frame, Canada tied the game after Ashton Bell fired a one-timer from just above the circle past Hensley after a faceoff win. Less than three minutes later Renata Fast tallied Canada’s go-ahead goal from nearly the same spot as Bell.

Laura Stacey added an empty-net goal with :54 left to account for the 4-2 final.

NOTES: Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game… Canada outshot the U.S., 28-16… Team USA was 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.

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