DETROIT — The largest crowd for a women's hockey game in the United States watched Katie King score three first-period goals to help the U.S. team beat Canada 7-3 Sunday in an Olympic tuneup.
The victory, before 10,158 fans at Joe Louis Arena, was the seventh straight for the United States over Canada in the teams' pre-Olympic tour.
The U.S. team led 5-1 after the first period, although Canada scored first at 5:07.
King scored on a power play a minute later and made it 2-1 at 12:11 by tapping in a rebound. Karyn Bye scored with 3:57 left in the period when her one-timer from the slot beat goalie Sami Jo Small, and King put in a rebound 45 seconds later.
Small was replaced in goal by Kim St. Pierre.
Kelly Bechard and Cassie Campbell scored 1:20 apart in the second period to draw Canada within 5-3. But Natalie Darwitz and Tricia Dunn added goals for the United States, who got three assists from Shelley Looney.
The 2001-02 USA Hockey Women's National Team beat Canada, 7-3, here this afternoon in front of 10,158 fans, the largest crowd ever to watch a women's hockey game in the United States. The victory marked the seventh time in as many games Team USA has defeated Canada on the pre-Olympic tour. The U.S. is now 26-0-0 overall, including a 7-0-0 record against Canada and a 19-0-0 mark on The Visa Skate To Salt Lake Tour.
Dana Antal notched a short-handed tally at 5:27 of the opening period to give Canada a short-lived 1-0 lead, before Team USA's offense exploded for the next five goals to take a 5-1 lead heading into the second period. Forward Katie King (Salem, N.H.) registered a hat trick and Michigan native Shelley Looney (Brownstown Township, Mich.) contributed three assists. Forward Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wis.) also lit the lamp and Jenny Potter (Eagan, Minn.) added a short-handed breakaway tally to round out the scoring for Team USA in the first period.
Canada's Kelly Bechard and Cassie Campbell beat U.S. goaltender Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.I.) at 8:54 and 9:47 of the second stanza to pull Canada within two goals, but Team USA forward Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.) converted on a breakaway, rifling a shot over Kim St. Pierre's left shoulder at 19:22 to extend the U.S. lead to 6-3 after two periods of play.
U.S. forward Tricia Dunn (Derry, N.H.) made the final score, 7-3, as she scored on the power play at 6:02 of the third period. Team USA goaltender Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.I.) made 27 saves to post the victory, while Sami Jo Small and St. Pierre combined to turn aside 28 shots for Canada.
King's performance earned her the Visa MVP of the Game Award. The Havoline Players of the Game were Looney for Team USA and forward Tammy Shewchuk for Canada. Potter's first-period tally was named the Anheuser-Busch Coolest Goal of the Game.
The U.S. and Canada will face off for the final time before the XIX Olympic Winter Games at GM Place in Vancouver on Tuesday, January 8 at 7:30 p.m.