USA Women’s Hockey Team Falls, 2-1, to China

USA Women’s Hockey Team Falls, 2-1, to China

GRANADA, Spain—The U.S. Women’s National University Team suffered a 2-1 setback against China in its opening contest of the 2015 Winter World University Games today at the Mulhacen Pavilion. Team USA broke a scoreless tie in the third period, but China rallied with two goals to win.

“The team played well in their first game of the tournament against a tough competitor,” said Kristen Wright, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National University Team. “Our goaltender, Barlow, was outstanding, and we’re looking forward to our offense keeping the pace quick in our next games. We also look forward to meeting Japan on Saturday for a rematch of the 2013 bronze-medal game.”

Against the Chinese, Team USA found itself in a goaltenders’ duel. Maria Barlow (Howell, Mich./Michigan State University) stood tall, stopping all 16 China shots through two periods, while her counterpart, Wang Yuqing, turned aside 21 shots.

At 3:39 of the third period, Kendra Myers (Cedar Springs, Mich./Grand Valley State University) gave Team USA the lead, shooting the puck over Yuqing’s right shoulder. Just 3:21 later, China’s Fang Xin tied the game, and then Liu Zhixin scored the go-ahead goal—what proved to be the game-winner—with less than five minutes to play.

The U.S. Women’s National University Team is back in action Saturday (Feb. 7) against Japan at 11 a.m. ET. The contest will be a rematch of the 2013 Winter World University Games bronze-medal game, in which Team USA defeated Japan 3-1 to become the first men’s or women’s ice hockey team from the U.S. to win a medal in the event.

Notes: U.S. goaltender Maria Barlow was named third star of the game, stopping 22 of 24 shots … Whitney Thomas and Amanda Abromson picked up assists on the Myers’ goal.