The Russians drew first blood as Vladislav Gavrikov and Kirill Kaprizov found the back of the net in the opening four minutes to jump in front 2-0.
All of this with no medal on the line, either.
The American women's scoring dilemma against their arch-rivals was never more evident than in Thursday's preliminary round matchup between the only two women's ice hockey teams ever to win an Olympic gold medal.
However, Team Canada's second goal scored by Sarah Nurse was one that very well could have been stopped. Who can forget how the Americans led by two goals with under four minutes to go in the gold medal game, only to surrender the lead for good in the final minute of regulation, only to complete the heartbreak by giving up the power-play game-winner in overtime, after failing to score on their own power play?
Given that the Canadians scored on one of four power plays they received, the United States will have to do a better job of keeping out of the penalty box and working on their penalty kill.
The U.S. searched for chances to shoot what could have been a game-tying goal all the way until the clock hit zero.
"Canada coach Laura Schuler was happy with the win, especially Lacasse's performance".
USA captain Brian Gionta said the team just needs to learn to finish games.
The Americans have not taken home gold since 1998, while Canada is here looking for a fifth straight.
The two played eight times last fall through a pre-Olympic exhibition tour and the Four Nations Cup.
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It was a game Canada was expected to win for sure, but with so many question marks and so little time to prepare it was an impressive debut.
"We're not anxious about it, nope", Stauber said. It's one of the best parts of the game. "Absolutely nothing to do with our future". "If you look at the first two periods you would have thought that they would have been exhausted".
"We trained our whole lives to win a gold medal here", Buffalo Grove's Megan Bozek said.
The Canadians didn't sound too impressed.
"It starts with defence first and I think our team was committed to that tonight", said Canadian coach Laura Schuler. Scrivens, who plies his trade in the KHL these days, was solid in the Canada goal. The official immediately signaled no goal.
Natalie Spooner, playing in her 100th game for Team Canada, made a no-look backhand pass to set up Agosta at 7:18 of the first period to give the Canadians a 1-0 advantage. With Megan Keller in the box for interfering with Poulin, Natalie Spooner in her 100th global game spun and hit Agosta in the slot with a backhanded pass. Agosta's shot went off goalie Maddie Rooney's glove and in for the goal.
Nurse's wrist shot off Rooney's right shoulder deflected into the top of the net at 14:56 of the second. Laura Stacey appeared to be offside as Canada brought the puck into the zone, but the United States did not challenge.
It was forward Kendall Coyne who gave the Americans their only goal, her ridiculous combination of skill and speed coming together a mere 23 seconds into the third period, but her singular effort was not enough to offset the Americans' inability to cash in.
-Biathlon: In the men's 20km individual, Lowell Bailey could be a huge contender to give the US hardware in this sport for the first time (12:00 p.m., NBCSN / 1:05 a.m. NBC).