U.S. women’s hockey beats Canada in front of record-setting crowd

The U.S. women's national hockey team celebrates after beating Canada 4-2 at Climate Pledge Aren. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national hockey team beat Canada for the third time in a row Sunday, and the 4-2 win came in front of a record crowd at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.

A total of 14,551 fans poured into the arena to watch the rivalry series game, making it the most-attended women’s hockey game on U.S. soil in history. The wave of fans was the result of months of hard work on behalf of the national team and the Seattle Kraken, who hosted the game.

“To know that the Kraken supported the event and the reach that they had … it just stuns you a bit to know that people are getting on a flight and buying a ticket to come watch us play,” U.S. defender Lee Stecklein told The Athletic.

“We all know that we would like more visibility for our sport, so to be in front of all these people, we know it’s going to be really big for the growth of our game and we’re really excited and really appreciative of the people who have come together to make that happen.”

It was a historic night in more ways than one, as Hilary Knight was presented with a golden stick to commemorate her record-breaking 87th career world championship point. Knight is the Women’s World Championship’s all-time leader in points.

Knight had three points on the night against Canada, including the game-winning goal – her second of the game. She also assisted on a goal by Savannah Harmon, which was scored just 40 seconds into the first period.

“I think that the crowd and everybody coming out of their seats 40 seconds into the game was a script that you can’t really draw up,” U.S. coach John Wroblewski said. “What an exciting game.”