A sellout Mile One Centre crowd of close to 6,300 burst into wild applause Saturday night when Rebecca Johnston’s goal in overtime gave Canada a 3-2 win over the United States and the 4 Nations Cup women’s hockey championship in St. John’s.
Johnston, from Sudbury, Ont., and the granddaughter of a Newfoundlander born and raised at the Cape Race lighthouse, had Meaghan Mikkelson’s shot bounce off her leg, past a surprised U.S. goalie Molly Schaus for the win.
The game was a rematch of last year’s Olympic gold-medal game in Vancouver, which Canada won 2-0. Canada’s roster included 13 players who played in Vancouver, while the U.S. had 12 players from the silver-medal squad.
Johnston had two goals in the game, while Mikkelson also scored. Julie Chu and Kendall Coyle replied for the Americans.
The 4 Nations Cup, which also included Finland, who won bronze, and Sweden, was well received in St. John’s and Clarenville, which staged a pair of games.
A total of 29,218 fans took in the eight games over five days, besting the 24,408 who watched the 2002
4 Nations event in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.
The 4 Nations was the second of three Hockey Canada events plan-ned for Newfoundland this season, as Hockey Newfoundland and Lab-rador celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The national junior team held its summer evaluation camp at Mile One in August, and the Telus Cup national midget tournament is slated to be held in St. John’s this spring April 18-24.