IIHF Worlds: U.S. tops Canada in group stage with five-goal rally

Hilary Knight is two points away from breaking the IIHF World Championship points record. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The United States scored five goals in a row against rival Canada to rally to a 5-2 victory Tuesday to close out the group stage of the IIHF Women’s World Championship.

With the win, Team USA finishes atop Group A at the tournament in Denmark and seals the top seed for the knockout stage, which starts Thursday with the quarterfinals. The Americans will take on Hungary from Group B at 10 a.m. ET, while the Canadians will face Sweden at 2 p.m. ET.

After Canada surged to a 2-0 first period lead Tuesday, Megan Keller got on the board for the United States early in the second period, and then Kelly Pannek followed with another.

A few minutes into the third period, 20-year-old Lacey Eden scored the go-ahead goal for Team USA, sending the puck over the shoulder of Canadian netminder Emerance Maschmeyer.

Kendall Coyne Schofield added another tally for the United States, and Hilary Knight iced the victory with an empty net goal.

Knight’s goal increased her career tally of world championship points to 85. She sits at second in tournament history, and she needs just two more to break the record of 86 points held by former Canada player Hayley Wickenheiser.

While Canada won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics over the United States and also won the 2021 world championship, besting their rival in both finals, Team USA has been the stronger team in this tournament.

Heading into Tuesday, both the United States and Canada had gone undefeated through their first three games of the group stage, but the former had displayed more firepower in its wins.

Team USA kicked off the tournament with a 10-0 win over Japan. From there, the Americans haven’t let off the gas. They won 6-1 over Finland and 9-0 over Switzerland, showing marked improvement from their group-stage wins at the Olympics.

Team USA entered Tuesday having scored the most goals so far in the tournament, with 25 goals coming off 191 shots on goal. Czech Republic entered the day as the most efficient goal scoring team, with 18 goals on 126 shots on goal.

Undefeated Czech Republic finished atop the lower-tier Group B and will face Finland in the quarterfinals. The fourth- and fifth-place teams in Group A, Switzerland and Japan, will compete in the last quarterfinal.

Knockout round schedule

All times listed in ET. Games in bold will be televised on NHL Network.

Thursday, Sept. 1:

  • United States vs. Hungary, 10 a.m.
  • Canada vs. Sweden, 2 p.m.
  • Switzerland vs. Japan, 6 a.m.
  • Finland vs. Czech Republic, 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3

  • Semifinal #1, 8 a.m. (NHL Network)
  • Semifinal #2, 12 p.m. (NHL Network)

Sunday, Sept. 4:

  • Bronze medal game, 9 a.m. (NHL Network)
  • Gold medal game, 1:30 p.m. (NHL Network)