| USA TODAY Sports
GANGNEUNG, South Korea – High intensity. Overflowing emotion. Goalmouth scrambles. Key saves. Clutch scoring. A disallowed goal. Shots off ringing off posts. A failed penalty shot.
Canada’s entertaining 2-1 win against USA in a women’s hockey group play had everything you want in a hockey game including confusion about what it all means.
“I think we are in a good spot as far as confidence goes,” Canada coach Laura Schuler said.
U.S. coach Robb Stauber saw it differently. “We had one heck of a performance,” Stauber said. “We are three games into this tournament and in every game we’ve out shot our opponent 2-to-1. I just don’t see how that doesn’t pay off. It’s going to pay off.”
The Americans out shot Canada 45-23, but Stauber’s point is the same. He believes the Americans are playing well enough to end Canada’s streak of four consecutive Olympic gold medals.
“We expect a reward for our honesty and sticking to our game plan — which is getting pucks to the net — and we did that,” Stauber said.
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The difference in the preliminary game: a power play goal by Meghan Agosta and a steaming shot by Sarah Nurse coming down the left wing that flew over goalie Maddie Rooney’s shoulder.
The Americans, meanwhile, out shot Canada 31-11 over the final 40 minutes and yet could only produce one goal by Kendall Coyne. Canada also had a goal disallowed because it was ruled to have been kicked in.
“We just didn’t execute,” USA’s…