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Canada, U.S. set for Women’s Worlds final showdown on TSN

Laila Edwards Renata Fast USA Canada Laila Edwards Renata Fast - Images on Ice

It’s the final we’ve all been waiting for as archrivals Canada and the U.S. will battle for gold Sunday evening at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, N.Y.

Watch the gold medal game LIVE at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT on TSN1, TSN5, and the TSN App.

Canada guaranteed themselves a medal with a 4-0 semifinal victory over Czechia on Saturday behind goals from Blayre Turnbull, Jocelyne Larocque, Emily Clark and Sarah Fillier. Laura Stacey added two assists in the victory while Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped all nine shots she faced for her second shutout of the tournament.

Canada outshot Czechia 47-9 in the semis and looked as dominant as they did during a 5-0 victory over the Czechs in the round-robin, where Desbiens also picked up the shutout.

The U.S. secured their berth in the Women’s Worlds final with a lopsided 5-0 victory over Finland in the other semifinal showdown. Twenty-year-old Laila Edwards scored a natural hat trick and Aerin Frankel picked up a 15-save shutout as the Americans stayed undefeated in the tournament.

Sunday’s gold medal final is a chance for payback for Canada in a couple of areas.

The Canadians' lone loss came against the U.S. in group play last Monday as the tournament hosts prevailed 1-0 in overtime on a winner form Kirsten Simms, finally solving Desbiens after she stopped her first 29 shots.

"Any time we go against Canada, it's going to be an intense game. Just how quick that puck moves up and down the ice and how you have to be kind of on the full 60 minutes is huge, but super-fun to play in,” Simms said.

"She's unbelievable," Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin said of Desbiens’ effort. "She kept us in the game. Very happy for her and too bad I screened her on that last shot and I'm not happy with that.

"It is disappointing. You never want to lose, especially to the U.S."

Head coach Troy Ryan said Canada should have done more to put pressure on Frankel and the Americans.

"I didn't like our offence," he explained. "We did a good job in the second period starting to turn pucks over and we looked to transition, but we didn't make plays.

“When we're not playing our best offensively, we're just trying to score off the rush. That's more of how the U.S. plays than what we would play. We're much better if we're driving their defence back and getting some offensive zone possession time."

In addition to the round-robin victory, the U.S. also has bragging rights from their gold medal win last year in Brampton, Ont. Hilary Knight had a hat trick and the U.S. took down Canada 6-3 to recapture gold after Canada defeated the Americans in the Women's World Championship final in 2021 and 2022.  

"It means a lot more to beat them than any other opponent," Frankel said earlier this week.

Sunday will be the 22rd meeting between the two sides in the final. Canada has won 12 of the previous 21 title game meetings but the U.S. has won six of the last eight.

Finland will play Czechia earlier Sunday afternoon for the bronze medal. The Czechs have taken bronze in each of the previous two tournaments. 

Watch that game LIVE at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT on TSN1, and the TSN App.