Canada falls 4-2 to Calgary Buffaloes in final Midget AAA game; Hefford, Johnston & Poulin line on fire in first period
by Kristen Lipscombe
CALGARY, Alta. – There were plenty of fans sporting red and white in the stands Sunday afternoon at the Markin MacPhail Centre, but despite the crowd support, a fast and furious first period offensive burst and some outstanding netminding, Canada's National Women's Team suffered a tough 4-2 loss to the Calgary Buffaloes.
It was Team Canada's final game in Alberta Midget Hockey League action before heading to Vienna, Austria, where there will be more off-ice training and on-ice practices, as the squad makes its final corner around on the Road to Sochi 2014. National Women's Team players and staff fly out of Hockey Canada's home base of Calgary on Tuesday.
Although the Buffaloes got on the board first Sunday, on a goal from Carsen Twarynski at 2:28 of the first period, Canada quickly stole the lead later in the period, with the line of Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL), Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) combining for both goals to make it 2-1 at intermission.
The first goal came at 3:33, with Poulin assisting Johnston, and the second was at 18:33, with Poulin kicking off the play and Hefford feeding Johnston, who put her second of the game past the Calgary goal line.
"We just tried to keep it simple," Johnston said following the game. "We got it into the zone, and Pou(lin) just passed it both times right in the slot, and I was open and just shot it on net."
"Overall, I think we're playing well, we (just) need to capitalize on those chances that we do get," Johnston added. "We just need to get back to our game plan, and just simple plays, and working hard all over the ice."
The Buffaloes battled back in the second to score two goals on the power play, from Anthony Orubor at 4:45 and Matthew Phillips at 19:21, to regain the lead at 3-2 after 40 minutes. Jack Thomas topped it off with an empty-netter with 36 seconds left on the clock for the 4-2 final.
Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, ACAC) also had a strong game Sunday, turning away 32 shots to help keep Canada in the game.
"It was a tough one to lose, but it's something we can build on heading over to Austria," said Szabados, who stopped a breakaway late in the game by doing the splits across the crease and covering all possible angles.
Szabados said Team Canada will use its upcoming time in Austria to "regroup, and really get focused and ready for Sochi."
Follow Canada's National Women's Team on its final Road to Sochi stretch by visiting Hockey Canada's official website at www.hockeycanada.ca/nwt and checking out social media at twitter.com/hc_women and www.facebook.com/hockeycanada.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/Match no
|Arena/Aréna||Markin MacPhail Centre – Rink A||Location/Lieu||Calgary, Alta.|
|Date||Sunday, January 19, 2014||Time/Heure||13:30 MT
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période|
02:28 CGYB Carsen Twarynski (Brayden Brown, Brenden Montgomery)
03:33 CAN Rebecca Johnston (Marie-Philip Poulin)
18:33 CAN Rebecca Johnston (Jayna Hefford, Marie-Philip Poulin)
|Second Period/Deuxième période|
04:45 CGYB Anthony Orubor (Jackson Mckinstry) PP/AN
19:11 CGYB Adam Berg (Jackson McKinstry, Anthony Orubor) PP/AN
03:45 CAN Marie-Philip Poulin (Hooking/Accrocher)
16:25 CGYB Keillan Olson (Hooking/Accrocher)
18:58 CAN Meaghan Mikkelson (Interference/Obstruction)
|Third Period/Troisième période|
19:24 CGYB Jack Thomas (Jackson Mcinstry, Ryely Mckinstry) EN/FD
15:24 CAN Brianne Jenner (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Goaltenders/Gardien(ne)s de but|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|