Canada 4 - USA 0
Thursday, September 01, 2005
HAMEENLINNA, FINLAND – The first Olympic year match up between the two perennial powerhouses occurred on the second day of the tournament when Team Canada and the USA went head to head in Hameenlinna on Thursday.
Canada started veteran goalie Sami Jo Small in net while the USA countered with rookie net minder Shari Vogt. Both goalies were active in the first period as each team had a hand full of scoring chances, but were denied as the period finished in a scoreless draw.
The pace in the first period was extremely fast and intense as these two teams always seem to look forward to the match up. The rink was buzzing with energy as 1,300 students attended the game and showed their support by waving flags and hanging posters around the arena.
The second period belonged to Canada as they carried the majority of the play and had the better scoring opportunities. Canada opened the scoring on a goal by defenceman Becky Kellar when she fired one top shelf over the shoulder of the USA net minder. Midway through the period, despite the USA killing off a 5 on 3 advantage, Canada scored just as the teams got back to even strength when Dana Antal went to the backhand and beat a sprawled out USA goalie Shari Vogt. Canada had numerous 2 on1’s, and a breakaway in the late stages of the period but could not convert. The only USA opportunity came late in the period as a Team Canada breakdown in the slot resulted in a great scoring chance for the USA but Canadian forward Hayley Wickenheiser scooped the puck from the goal line to save a sure fire goal.
Canada opened the third period with a goal just two minutes in. Kelly Bechard sent a great cross ice feed to a pinching Becky Kellar who buried her second of the night which gave Canada a solid 3-0 lead. Canada rounded out the scoring with a goal by rookie forward Meghan Agosta with six minutes remaining.
Canadian net minder Sami Jo Small recorded the shut out in the victory while making 23 saves on the night. USA goalie Shari Vogt had 30 saves on the 34 shots she faced.
Becky Kellar was named player of the game for Canada with her two goal performance including the game winner, while Julie Chu had the honours for USA.
With the win, Canada’s has a record of 2-0. The next game for Canada is Friday when they play the host team, Finland.
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Brad Pascall Director, Communications