HEFFORD LEADS CANADIAN ROUT AT 2012 4 NATIONS CUP IN FINLAND, EARNS HER 150TH GOAL WITH CANADA’S NATIONAL WOMEN’S TEAM
Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) had two goals to reach a scoring milestone and Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./NAIT, ACAC) faced 20 shots, as Canada opened the 2012 4 Nations Cup with a 6-0 victory over Finland on Tuesday.
Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS),and Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Ruthven, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) also scored for Canada, which dumped the host side 8-1 in an exhibition tune-up two days earlier. Hefford's second goal was the 150th of her national team career.
"It's a phenomenal feat," Canada’s National Women’s Team head coach Dan Church said from Kerava. "She's just a true professional. Her talents around the net and just her nose for the puck, and really how hard she works off the puck, I think are the keys to her success as a goal scorer."
Canada's roster for the 2012 4 Nations Cup includes almost all the players from the team that won gold at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt. Canada rolled four effective lines at Kerava Arena and fired 53 shots at netminder Isabella Portnoj.
"We just wanted to get a good strong start to this tournament," Hefford said. "We know we have to get better from here on out."
The Finns have never beaten Canada in women's hockey.
Canada will next face the defending champion Americans on Wednesday, before meeting Sweden on Friday. The medal games are Saturday. The Americans blanked Sweden 4-0 on Tuesday.
The U.S. is the defending 4 Nations Cup champion, beating the Canadians 4-3 in a shootout last year in Nyköping, Sweden. Hefford and her teammates are excited to play the Americans again.
"It's always the game we look forward to playing," Hefford said. "It's an intense rivalry but it's fun. It brings out the best in us and I think it does in them. We're going to be ready to go tomorrow."
Canada has won the event 12 times in the 16-year history of the tournament. The event also serves as an evaluation opportunity for team brass ahead of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship coming to Ottawa, Ont., this April.
"I think we're hungry to prove that we can be a dominant team again," Church said. "Every opportunity we look forward to playing the U.S. To win the world championship last year in Vermont was a great step forward, but we also had some pretty big losses over the course of the year.
"There's definitely room for improvement for our team. So I think this tournament is a great opportunity for us to come in and show them that we are the team that they saw in the finals and we're going to put forward a very physical, fast, and a good team game."
Canada last won 4 Nations Cup in November 2010 in St. John’s, N.L., defeating the Americans 3-2 in overtime.
||Time||12:00 p.m. MT
|Goals & Penalties|
03:05 CAN 16 Jayna Hefford (25 Tessa Bonhomme) PP
19:28 CAN 9 Jennifer Wakefield (2 Meghan Agosta-Marciano, 3 Jocelyne Larocque)
01:37 FIN 8 Tea Villila (Holding)
08:40 FIN 2 Anna Kilponen (Holding)
12:39 CAN 10 Gillian Apps (Interference)
19:56 FIN 26 Tiina Saarimaki (Tripping)
06:46 CAN 6 Rebecca Johnston (11 Courtney Birchard, 25 Tessa Bonhomme)
15:24 CAN 22 Hayley Wickenheiser
07:42 CAN 14 Bobbi Jo Slusar (Hooking)
13:13 CAN 6 Rebecca Johnston (Bodychecking)
15:57 FIN 6 Jenni Hiirikoski (Bodychecking)
19:57 CAN 10 Gillian Apps (Hooking)
06:01 CAN 2 Meghan Agosta-Marciano (21 Haley Irwin, 9 Jennifer Wakefield)
06:44 CAN 16 Jayna Hefford (29 Marie-Philip Poulin, 13 Caroline Ouellette)
03:36 CAN 24 Natalie Spooner (Cross Checking)
14:38 CAN 10 Gillian Apps (High Sticking)
|FIN||31 Isabella Portnoj||On 1/00:00
||1 Shannon Szabados||On 1/00:00
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|