Canada 3 - USA 0
4 Nations Cup
CANADA RIDES ROOKIES TO 3-0 WIN OVER THE USA
Kitchener, ON – Team Canada rookies Shannon Szabados and Annie Guay provided key blows, as Canada opened the 2006 4 Nations Cup with a 3-0 win over the U.S.. Szabados made 16 saves for a shutout in her first ever National Team game and Guay scored her first career international goal in her first game, the game winner to lead Canada to the victory.
The last time Canada faced the U.S., Canada suffered its last defeat, a stinging 5-2 loss on home ice no less, in front of a packed house in Winnipeg. Much has changed since. Canada went on to win Olympic gold in Turin, while USA settled for a bronze medal. The two longtime rivals didn’t even face each other at the Olympics, after the U.S. was surprised by Sweden in the semi-finals.
Szabados (Edmonton, AB/ Fort Saskatchewan,AJHL) was in net for Canada, her first career game with Canada’s National Team. Early on, she held her own, making one sparkling save off Natalie Darwitz on a 5-on-3 power play.
Canada took advantage of its own power play at 8:13, as rookie Annie Guay, also in her first ever National Team game, let a point shot go that changed direction off an American defender. At 14:40, Canada took a 2-0 lead. Béchard, with her second assist of the evening, slipped the puck to a speeding Danielle Goyette, who beat Chandra Gunn, going to the left and sliding the puck through her legs. Canada dominated the opening period, outshooting the U.S. 22-6.
No scoring in the second, although Canada continued to carry the play, holding the Americans to only two shots on net, while directing 11 at Gunn.
In the third, Canada added an insurance goal, at 4:26, as Vicky Sunohara sent Jayna Hefford in alone and beat Gunn to make it 3-0. Final shots on net gave Canada a 43-16 advantage.
Canada next faces Sweden, its Olympic final opponent, on Wednesday at 7:30 pm ET (live on TSN/RDS). Sweden won its first game 8-3 against Finland. The U.S. is up against Finland, which needs a win badly, after losing its opening game.
Incredibly, the last time these two women’s hockey powers faced off was over nine months ago, on January 1st in Winnipeg. USA won that game on Canadian soil, and Team Canada had looked forward to getting revenge in Turin, before USA lost to Sweden in the Olympic semi-final.
Canada arrives with a young defence and one rookie goaltender, but with 12 forwards that all have international experience. In total, Canada has 15 Olympic gold medalists and 18 of its 22 players have international experience with the senior team. Head Coach Melody Davidson is back behind the bench after an Olympic triumph.
The U.S. Team, meanwhile, only includes nine Olympians, and a number of bright up-and-coming players. There are three 17 year olds (including twins Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux) in the line-up, as well as four 19 year olds. And behind the bench, another major chance, with University of Wisconsin’s Mark Johnson taking over for Ben Smith as head coach.
The Canada/USA rivalry has been well documented and the 2006 4 Nations Cup will most certainly represent another fascinating chapter in this story.
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André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, relations médias