04/07/2017 18:28 EDT | Updated 04/08/2018 01:12 EDT

U.S. beats Canada to capture women's gold for fourth straight time

PLYMOUTH, Mich. — The United States is still the country to beat in women's hockey.

Hilary Knight scored the winner as the Americans downed Canada 3-2 in overtime on Friday to capture their fourth straight women's world hockey championship.

This was the fourth time in the past six tournaments that overtime was needed to decide a winner.

Kacey Bellamy struck twice for the Americans. Nicole Hensley stopped 28 shots for the victory.

Meghan Agosta and Brianne Jenner scored for Canada. Shannon Szabados made 37 saves in defeat.

The two teams traded early goals in the first period. 

Agosta opened the scoring just 1:01 into the game for Canada, before Bellamy tied it at the 4:34 mark.

After a scoreless second period, Bellamy gave the Americans their first lead just 42 seconds into the third.

The U.S. started the third outshooting Canada 11-1 before Brianna Decker took a hooking penalty with 10:40 to play. Jenner made good use of the power play, tying the game only 24 seconds after Decker went to the box.

Canada's Jocelyne Laroque was penalized for tripping with just 2:24 to play in regulation, giving the U.S. a great chance to go back ahead, but Canada was able to kill it off and send the game to overtime.

The Canadians led in shots after 40 minutes 20-17, but it was the Americans who held a 32-26 advantage heading into extra time.

Canada last won the tournament in 2012, now settling for silver in four straight championships. 

Friday's final against the United States marked the 18th time in 18 championships the archrivals had clashed for gold.

Canada has won 10 times and the U.S. eight. The Americans have beaten Canada in seven of the last eight, including last year's 1-0 overtime victory in Kamloops, B.C.

Earlier in the day, Finland beat Germany 8-0 for bronze.