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Canada beats U.S. in women's hockey Olympic tune-up

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Haley Irwin and Sarah Nurse scored in the second period, sending Canada to a 3-1 victory over the United States on Friday night in the latest Olympic tune-up between the world's top powers in women's hockey.

Marie-Philip Poulin also scored for Canada, and Ann-Renee Desbiens made 25 saves.

Brianna Decker opened the scoring for the U.S. with a power-play goal early in the second. Alex Rigsby stopped 33 shots in defeat.

Poulin made it 3-1 with her goal 55 seconds into the third.

It was the fifth of six meetings between the rivals as they prepare for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. They wrap up the series on Sunday night at Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers, in a game televised at 7 p.m. ET on the NHL Network.

Canada has won four of the five recent matchups, after the Americans took the series opener Oct. 22 in Quebec City.

"We just have to be better in the red zones -- that's the difference between winning and losing," United States coach Robb Stauber said. "We'll give some focus and energy to some things we think we can do better, and we're going to go into Edmonton and see what that end result looks like."

The last four Olympic gold medals in women's hockey have gone to Canada, but the U.S. has won seven of the past eight world championships.

The U.S. won the inaugural women's hockey event at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Since then, the Americans have earned three silvers and a bronze.

The Olympics start Feb. 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea.