For the sixth day in a row, the US was unbeatable at the FINA Women’s Intercontinental Tournament in Lewisville, Texas.

On Sunday, the host nation beat Australia, 6-5, to win the gold medal and begin the Olympic year with a perfect 6-0 record. China defeated Canada, 10-6, for bronze. And Brazil beat Japan for fifth place.

Final standings: 1. United States, 2. Australia , 3.China, 4. Canada, 5. Brazil, 6. Japan

(All but Japan qualified for the FINA World League Super Final in Shanghai, China, from June 7-12.)

TOP SCORER (tie, 13 goals): Makenzie Fischer (USA) & Rowena Webster (AUS)
TOP GOALIE(37 saves): Kelsey Wakefield (AUS)

GAME 1: 10:00, Classification for 5th/6th Place, BRAZIL 9 JAPAN 8
Quarters: 2-1, 3-2, 2-2, 2-3

Extra Man: BRA 3/7. JPN 0/5.
Pens: BRA 2/2.

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Marina Canetti, Camila Pedrosa (1), Isabella Chiappini (2), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho (2), Melani Dias (2), Viviane Bahia (1), Marina Duarte, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Pat Oaten.
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Akari Inaba, Shino Magariyama (2), Yuri Kazama, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano (2), Mitsuki Hashiguchi (2), Kana Hosoya (1), Mori Tsubasai, Marina Tokumoko, Kotori Suzuki (1), Miyuu Aoki. Head Coach: Hideo Kato.

Brazil qualified for the 2016 FINA World League Super Final by beating Japan, 9-8.

The match between Brazil and Japan was the only playoff game on Day 6 that had real consequences.

Since China was among the top four teams after round-robin play and pre-qualified for the FINA World League Super Final as the host nation, the winner of the 5th/6th-place classification game would also earn a berth to the event in Shanghai, China, in June.

Brazil scored the first two goals, but Japan’s captain Shino Magariyama made it a 2-1 game when she netted a pass from teammate Kotori Suzuki midway through the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Brazil scored the next three points – including two on 5-meter penalty shots (first by Melani Dias, and later by Arizona State standout Isabella Chiappini). Japan rallied back as Yumi Nakano scored two in a row. In the last two minutes of the half, however, Japan botched several passes and Brazil led 5-3 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Magariyama brought Japan within one goal, 5-4, but Japan couldn’t quite tie the game, and Brazil’s two-point edge remained, 7-5, at the break.

In the fourth quarter, the pivotal moment came when Japan’s Mitsuki Hashiguchi slammed a fast, hard shot past Brazil’s starting goalie, Tess Oliveira, to tie the game, 8-8, with 2:08 left to play. With a trip to Shanghai on the line and two seconds left on a power play, Brazil’s Dias earned the game winner with 49 seconds left in the game. Final: 9-8 Brazil.

(Brazil had also beaten Japan in their round-robin match , 10-7, on Day 2.)

Brazil Goalkeeper Tess Oliveira (6 saves):
“I think we played really bad today. We let this game get close and that’s the problem. We have problems to maintain the game sometimes. We’re practicing really hard so we have the Olympic Games now, and I think we need to do more and more to keep the games closer and win some games.”

Japan Head Coach Hideo Kato (through an interpreter):
On whether he will change the roster much for the Olympic Qualification tournament in March: “Maybe there might be a few changes in players who are here now.” On which game was Japan’s best: “The first half yesterday against China.”

GAME 2: 11:20, Bronze-Medal Match, CANADA 6 CHINA 10
Quarters: 1-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-4

Extra Man: CAN 3/8. CHN 5/7.
Pens: CAN 1/2. CHN 0/2.

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens (1), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi, Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens, Christine Robinson (1), Axelle Crevier, Dominique Perreault (2), Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: David Paradelo.
CHINA: Yang Jun, Lu Yiwen, Mei Xiaohan, Xiong Dunhan (1), Niu Guannan (1), Sun Yating, Song Donglun (1), Zhang Cong (2), Zhao Zihan (4), Zhang Wei Wei, Wang Xinyan, Zhang Jing (1), Peng Lin. Head Coach: Ricardo Azevedo.

Zhao Zihan scored 4 goals to help China beat Canada for bronze, 10-6

With a bronze medal on the line, the Canada-China match was sure to be fierce, especially since Canada had narrowly won the teams' previous meeting, 15-14, on Day 3.

On Sunday, China raced to a 2-0 lead, scoring twice on power plays. Krystina Alogbo also capitalized on a power play to score for Canada (literally) at the end of the quarter, when mere fractions of a second were elapsing.

In the second quarter, Canada’s Dominique Perreault scored on yet another power play to tie the game 2-2. Then, 43 seconds after Canadian goalie Jessica Gaudreault blocked a 5-meter penalty shot by Zhao Zihan, Zihan recaptured the lead for China, 3-2, with a left-handed goal. Zhang Jing used a left-handed blast of her own to score on a power play to make it 4-2 China. With 19 seconds remaining in the half, 16-year-old center Xiong Dunhan gave China a 5-2 cushion.

In the third quarter, Canadian goalie Gaudreault blocked another one of Zhao’s 5-meter penalty shots (this time, with her face) and Zhao scored about 30 seconds later to widen the gap, 6-2, for China. Monika Eggens put one away for Canada with 5:20 to go, and her teammate, 19-year-old lefty Emma Wright, fired a 5-meter penalty shot past Chinese goalie Peng Lin into the right side of the net to make it a 6-4 game, China leading. With about 1:25 left in the quarter, Peng made a key save when Canada’s Dominique Perreault tried to stuff a rebound into the net.

Thirty-nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Peng made another clutch save (her 13th of the game) on a whip by M. Eggens. Fourteen seconds later, China’s Zhang Cong made her second goal of the night to increase China’s lead, 7-4. Canada never closed the gap. It earned two more goals, but China scored three – including the kicker with 1:09 to go when backup goalie Nicola Colterjohn was out of position and Zhao put her fourth goal of the match into an open net to seal the win, 10-6.

Canada Attacker Monika Eggens (1 goal):
“Next time we play them, we need to come out stronger and execute our game plan to shut down their shooters and really push it on offense. Today we had a hard time putting the ball in the back of the net. Next time we have to work on… shooting more like we did in the first game against them.

On the Olympic Qualification tournament in March: “We’re looking forward to it. We’re going to go back to Montreal and work even harder – and hopefully qualify for Rio.”

China Head Coach Ricardo Azevedo:
“The key was that today I started our starting lineup. Okay, I put the baby goalie in there [Peng Lin, age 20] but with the starting lineup, we know we are four, five goals better than Canada. It was just a case to play it for the win, versus to play for the training. Today we played for the win. We were more aggressive on the press and we threw a couple different 6-on-5 rotations in there that usually we don’t because I’ve been keeping it basic. We know we’re a better team than them. The only bad game we had was against the USA, but we’ll fix that up later.

China Goalkeeper Peng Lin (15 saves) through an interpreter:
“Today I started so I was very confident for this game. I wanted to play Canada, and now to beat Canada is a beautiful day. I take good experience from this tournament, and I study another good goalie, for the USA, the black goalie [Ashleigh Johnson].”

GAME 3: 12:40, Gold-Medal Match, UNITED STATES 6 AUSTRALIA 5
Quarters: 3-0, 1-3, 1-1, 1-1

Extra Man: USA 2/10. AUS 2/6.
Pens: USA 0/1. AUS 2/2.

UNITED STATES: Sami Hill, Maddie Musselman (3), Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (2), KK Clark, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul, Aria Fischer (1), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers (2), Bronte Halligan, Rowena Webster, Glencora McGhie, Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern (2), Isobel Bishop, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

Ashleigh Southern (AUS 10) and Kami Craig (USA 12) tussle in the gold-medal game.

Less than 24 hours after the US beat Australia, 8-5, in round robin play, the 2015 World Championship MVP Rachel Fattal made the first goal for the US in the gold-medal game when her crushing shot blew through the fingers of Australia’s goalie Kelsey Wakefield with 5:23 to go in the first quarter. Aria Fischer made it 2-0 for the host nation, just 19 days after her 17th birthday. Maddie Musselman, also 17, added a power play goal with 5 seconds left in the first quarter to give the US a 3-0 lead.

Australia’s Keesja Gofers opened the second quarter with two goals in the first two minutes (one on a 5-meter penalty shot and one on a power play). Fattal responded with a well-timed rifle to gave the US a 4-2 lead. With 1:40 left in the half, a long shot by Australia’s Nicola Zagame skimmed the water for a few meters before landing in the US net to cut the US lead to 4-3 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Musselman earned her second goal of the game on a power play. Maggie Steffens had a chance to put the US up 6-3, but her 5-meter penalty shot hit the right post. Australia’s Ashleigh Southern added a goal on a powerplay to make it 5-4 at the break.

In the fourth-quarter, Musselman took a solo shot that made contact with Australia goalie Wakefield’s fingertips before going in the net to give the US a 6-4 comfort margin.  But Australia wasn’t finished. Ashleigh Southern put a 5-meter penalty shot past US goalie Ashleigh Johnson to make it a 6-5 game. But when Rowena Webster’s shot slammed the goalpost and bounced away with 46 seconds remaining, the home crowd was audibly ecstatic at the prospect of seeing gold in Texas. With 8 seconds to go, fans went nuts. The US had clearly won.

United States Captain Maggie Steffens (MVP of the tournament)
On the takeaway from this tournament: “We got some great situational experiences. Being up early, being down early, being up late in the fourth quarter, being down late in the fourth quarter, so it allowed us to do a lot of situational practice – which is great moving forward to Holland [which hosts the Olympic Qualification Tournament, March 21-28]

Australia Captain Rowena Webster (tied for Top Scorer of the tournament, 13 goals)
“We always know it’s going to be really tough against the US, pretty low scoring, physical. But we gave them a 3-nil head start, and any time you give the No. 1 team in the world a big head start, it’s going to be a tough time the rest of the game. We gave it our all, I think the crowd enjoyed it, we look to build on this, and we’ll meet them in the World League Finals.”