Canada wins first showdown, defeats USA 2-1

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 6 - United States v Canada

The matchup lived up to the hype as the two North American powerhouses met in the preliminary round of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Meghan Agosta and Sarah Nurse each scored as Canada defeated the United States, 2-1, and secured the top spot in the semifinals with the victory.

Geneviève Lacasse made 43 saves for Canada and stopped Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson on a penalty shot at 14:08 of the second period.

Kendall Coyne scored the lone American goal and Maddie Rooney stopped 21 shots.

Natalie Spooner, playing in her 100th game for Team Canada, made a no-look backhand pass to set up Agosta at 7:18 of the first period to give the Canadians a 1-0 advantage.

Nurse doubled Canada’s lead with a well-placed wrister at 14:56 of the middle frame. Forward Laura Stacey appeared to enter the offensive zone before the puck crossed the blue line, but USA head coach Robb Stauber elected not to challenge.

Coyne made it 2-1 just 23 seconds into the third period. She darted into the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot between the legs of Lacasse.

Canada had two goals waived off due to a kicking motion in the final frame, and a crease violation in the opening period.

Both teams will advance to the semifinals and will await the winners of the quarterfinals matchup.