There were some roster changes from the one USA Hockey posted online, most notably the back-up goalie situation. Not sure what happened; it’s corrected now. No question that whoever that goalie is (Rooney, it seems), she will be starting next game. I don’t think O’Neil did a terrible job (and a U-18 keeper is a work in progress), but at least two of the goals she let in seemed like possible saves. Her defense didn’t help her much in those situations,considering that she saw a number of individual shooters at point blank range. And I thought she handled some pressure moments well. The PK killed a 5 on 3. The power play was pretty mediocre, shading to bad from the point in that second PP although it solidified later on. Basically Canada, especially Heffernan, did a very nice job capitalizing on U.S. mistakes.
The U.S. offensive player who impressed me the most was Williamson. Cianfarano is pretty much a given as the U.S.’ top scorer so I’d like to see who else helps out. Bizal looked like she had good skill and puck anticipation on defense. One of the upsides of very young players is you see some virtuoso displays of 1-v-1 skating since the defense isn’t that good, and that occurred from both teams. I only listen to the awful announcing of these games to hear who players are, since I often can’t read the numbers from the camera angle they give us. And this dude did not want to tell me. So I’m not always sure who did what.
My guess is there will be improved special teams play from the U.S. in the next game, and perhaps some line shuffling.Powered by Sidelines