Two goals 14 seconds apart late in the third period proved to be enough as Team Canada White downed Team Canada Red 4-3 at the National Women’s Under-19 Program Evaluation Camp in Calgary on Thursday night.
Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, MB) scored on a powerplay at 13:35 and Kelsey O’Donnell (Souris, PE) followed at 13:49 as Canada White survived a late rally but held on to move to 1-0, giving them momentum heading into Friday afternoon’s match-up with 0-1 Japan.
Canada Red jumped out to the early lead midway through the opening 20 minutes, as Jessica Wong (Baddeck, NS) took a pass from Rayna Cruickshank (Cumberland, BC) and beat goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, SK) to put her team up 1-0.
Despite outshooting Canada Red 10-6 in the first period, Canada White found themselves down by a goal heading into the intermission.
Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, ON) got her team even less than five minutes into the middle frame on a Canada White powerplay, sending the water bottle behind Hillary Pattenden (Surrey, BC) flying with a shortside wrist shot.
That would be the only goal of the second period, with Canada White holding the edge in shots on goal once again at 13-8, for a two-period total of 23-14.
Canada Red once again took the lead early in the third period, as Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, ON) stormed down the wing and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Melissa Murphy (Pigeon Hill, NB), who had replaced Herman at the game’s midway point.
Canada Red controlled play in the early parts of the final period, but Frykas’ goal pulled Canada White even and O’Donnell’s shot from the side of the net found its way past Lisa Plenderleith (North York, ON), giving Canada White its first lead of the game.
Vicki Bendus (Wasaga Beach, ON) finished off a scramble in front of Plenderleith by sneaking a shot past the Canada Red goaltender, giving her team the insurance goal it needed.
Canada Red, who face 1-0 Canada Black on Friday night at Father David Bauer Arena, got one back with under four minutes to go, as Vanessa Émond (Lévis, QC) tipped a Samantha Wauer (Oakbank, MB) point shot past Murphy, but that would be as close as they would come.
Herman stopped 10 of the 11 shots she faced for Canada White, while goaltending partner Murphy turned aside nine of 11. Canada Red’s Pattenden made 14 saves on 15 shots, while Plenderleith stopped 12 of 15.