Canada 3,

United States 1

-- Gillian Apps scored on a pass from Hayley Wickenheiser with 3 minutes 40 seconds to play, and Canada beat the United States, 3-1, Thursday night for their seventh win in the last eight games between the top powers in women's hockey.

Though Canada won it with a late breakaway goal, most of the exhibition game was more even than previous meetings between the two strong favorites for medals at the Turin Olympics.

Katie Weatherston scored in the first period for Canada, and Kelly Bechard added an empty-net goal as time expired. Sami Jo Small stopped 27 shots for the win.

Sarah Parsons scored for the United States, which showed its improvement in the last two games after losing six straight to Canada. The Americans skated harder, checked better and were more effective on special teams -- but the experienced Canadians still thrived.

Four nights earlier, the Americans snapped their losing streak with a 2-1 shootout victory in Columbus, Ohio. The clubs will meet two more times before the Olympics, in back-to-back games in St. Paul, Minn., on Dec. 30, and in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on New Year's Day.

Pam Dreyer stopped 28 shots for the Americans in front of 3,577 fans at United Center -- mostly filled with youth hockey players who waved signs and cheered the U.S. team.

Parsons, the Americans' youngest player at 18, just graduated last summer from a Massachusetts high school, where she played against a school coached by her U.S. teammate, defenseman Courtney Kennedy.

Parsons got the opening goal just 2:56 in, sneaking an opportunistic shot between Small's legs. Parsons also scored in the shootout in the Americans' victory in Columbus.

Canada tied it late in the first period when Weatherston connected on a centering pass from Meghan Acosta, sneaking the shot just inside the far post.

United States captain Krissy Wendell played a strong offensive game, but couldn't score on a clean breakaway with 9:15 to play. Canada also withstood a 5-on-3 disadvantage early in the third period.