Canada 3 - Finland 2
CANADA REBOUNDS AT WOMEN’S WORLD BY BEATING FINLAND
BURLINGTON, Vt. — Canada's performance was uneven, but their 3-2 win over Finland was important psychologically at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Canada’s National Women’s Team took its worst beating ever from the U.S. in a
9-2 loss to open the tournament.
The team's mental training consultant, Dr. Peter Jensen, told the team prior to Sunday's game to not give the loss to the U.S. more significance that it deserved.
"He said, 'We don't want to overpay for the loss yesterday,’ and what he meant by that was overpay and give away our confidence," explained assistant captain Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL).
"We just had a really, really bad day, probably one of the worst I've had in my career on the national team. We didn't want to dwell on it and think about it today. It was important for us to move on quickly."
Forward Ouellette, defenceman Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Gillian Apps (Unionville, Ont./.Brampton, Ont.) scored for Canada at the University of Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Canada outshot the Finns 43-15. As she's done in recent games against Canada, Finland goaltender Noora Raty gave her country a chance at an upset. Raty made 40 saves, even though she's not completely healthy.
Raty backstopped Minnesota to an NCAA women's championship last month and was injured in the Golden Gophers post-game celebration.
"I got stuck under a pile (of bodies) and my whole body was under 200 pounds, so it wasn't too fun," Raty said. "It's no secret that I'm a little injured here. I still can play and play pretty well."
Even-strength, Canada spends most of a game against Finland in their end.
The Finns' strategy for beating Canada is for Raty to make a high volume of saves, play ferocious defence in front of her and rely on a power-play or broken-play goal for the win. While that hasn't resulted in a win yet, they're becoming more effective at it.
"Usually they have more speed than we do," Raty said. "We battled and we were in the game the whole time.
"I actually thought they would be more motivated for this game. They got beat 9-2 and we knew they were going to come hard in the first, but then they slowed down and we actually played really well."
Venla Hovi scored short-handed and Karoliina Rantamaki added a power-play goal for the Finns.
Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, ACAC) played part of the first period against the U.S., before Charline Labonté (Boisbriand, Que./McGill University, CIS) went back in the game. Edmonton's Szabados made 13 saves in Sunday's win.
"Those are tough games for a goalie," Szabados said. "She was playing so well and at the same time, they're a skilled team so we know and I know if they get an opportunity they can bury it."
Head coach Dan Church confirmed forward Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA) is out for the tournament with an ankle sprain she suffered in the first period against the Americans.
Under the new tournament format, the top two teams in Canada's Pool A earn byes to the semifinals. The bottom two meet the top two from Pool B in the quarter-finals.
Canada (1-1) needs a win over Russia on Tuesday to secure a bye to the semifinals.
"We want to keep in contention for one of the top two spots in the pool and you had to win this game to be able to do that," Church said.
The U.S. faced Russia in a later Pool A game Sunday. Sweden edged Germany 2-1 in overtime in Pool B.
Scoring on Raty requires patience and the Canadians showed that for the most part.
"You do have to be patient, let the puck do the work and get her to move side to side and get an opportunity and capitalize," captain Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS) said. "With goaltending like that, it'll be tough to get eight goals. She keeps it close. Otherwise, it's a 10-nothing game."
Canada had defensive lapses. They were called for half a dozen stick infractions, and let Hovi score short-handed on a breakaway.
"We had moments where I really liked how we were playing and moving the puck," Church observed. "There were maybe 10 or 15 minutes where we got away from our game slightly. It's just execution of our systems, I think, that has to be polished."
Church planned to give the Canadians a day off from the ice Monday, although they'll do a dryland workout.
"Managing rest in this tournament is really important," he said.
Notes: Canada is 54-0-1 all-time versus Finland. The closest the Finns have come to beating Canada was a 6-6 tie in 1990.
|Arena||Gutterson Fieldhouse||City, Country||Burlington, VT|
|Month / Day / Year||04/08/2012||Time||03:00 PM ET|
14:12 CAN 8 Laura Fortino (6 Rebecca Johnston, 22 Hayley Wickenheiser)
00:13 CAN 13 Caroline Ouellette (16 Jayna Hefford, 29 Marie-Philip Poulin)
13:50 FIN 9 Venla Hovi (21 Michelle Karvinen) SH
09:14 CAN 10 Gillian Apps (12 Meaghan Mikkelson, 2 Meghan Agosta)
10:28 FIN 29 Karoliina Rantamäki (21 Michelle Karvinen, 6 Jenni Hiirikoski) PP
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|