Canada 16 - Italy 0
CANADA’S WOMEN’S TEAM OPENS OLYMPICS WITH A DOMINANT VICTORY
Canada’s Women’s Olympic team began their defence of Olympic gold on Saturday afternoon as they took on host team Italy. Canada was just too much for Italy to handle in the first period as Caroline Ouellette gave Canada a 1-0 lead 1:36 into the game. Just 12 seconds later, Ouellette notched her second of the game to give Canada a 2-0 lead. Ouellette’s two goals in 12 seconds is the fastest two goals by a National Women’s Team member eclipsing the previous mark set by Vicky Sunohara who netted two in 23 seconds against Japan in 1990. Hayley Wickenheiser made it 3-0 at 4:04 of the first, and Ouellette completed her hat trick with a power-play goal at 6:43 of the first. Defenceman Cheryl Pounder capped of the scoring for Canada in the first off. Canada outshot Italy 26-3 in the first period.
Canada continued their offensive surge in the second period when Sarah Vaillancourt scored just 25 seconds into the period to make it 6-0. Defenceman Carla McLead notched her first of the Games at 2:32 of the first. Wickenheiser notched her second of the game as she connected off a nice passing play from linemates Cherie Piper and Gillian Apps at 38:45. The trio connected once again just over a minute later when Wickenheiser got her third of the game. (The goal was credited to Wickenheiser, however, video replay clearly showed that it was Cherie Piper who scored.) Once again Kim St-Pierre was not very busy in net facind only two shots, while Italian goaltender Debora Montanari made several key saves after facing 21 shots in the period.
To start the third, Italy made a goaltending change replacing Montanari who had a solid two periods stopping 38 of 47 shots with goaltender Luana Frasnelli. The line of Apps, Piper and Wickenheiser picked up where they left off with Apps notching her first of the tournament at 41:35. Jennifer Botterill and Jayna Hefford then made it 12-0 wit goals 1:01 apart from each other. Pounder then notched her second of the game at 49:42 of the third and Danielle Goyette made it 14-0 with her first at 52:19. Apps then netted her second of the game on the power-play at 56:15 while Olympic rookie Katie Weatherston capped off Team Canada’s scoring with her first at 57:37. Canada outshot Italy 19-0 in the third and 66-5 overall. Kim St-Pierre recorded the shutout on a relatively easy night.
Piper led Canada in scoring with a six point effort while Wickenheiser, Apps and Ouellette each recorded five points. The 16-0 victory was Canada’s most lopsided victory at the Winter Olympic Games. Canada’s next game is tomorrow, Sunday Feb. 12th versus Russia, game time is 7:30 pm local time (1:30 ET).
PLAYERS TO WATCH ON TEAM CANADA
Canada’s opening game against will have special significance for three Canadian players who have Italian roots. Both defenceman Gillian Ferrari and forwards Meghan Agosta and Kate Weatherston will no doubt have special motivation when the puck drops for both team’s first game at the Olympics. In fact, Weatherston, whose mother Anna is Italian, speaks italian.
Agosta, Ferrari and Weatherston are also among the eight players who will playing in their first Olympic game as well. Agosta, Gillian Apps, Ferrari, Gina Kingsbury, Charline Labonté, Carla MacLeod, Sarah Vaillancourt and Weatherston will all be skating over the Olympic rings for the first time on Saturday.
Danielle Goyette, a veteran at her third Olympics, had the honour of carrying Canada’s flag into the Opening Ceremonies on February 10th. Goyette is Canada’s all-time top scorer at the Olympic Winter Games, with 19 points in 11 games played.
Team captain Cassie Campbell is five points from becoming the 8th Canadian player to reach 100 international points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH ON TEAM ITALY
Forward Maria Leitner finished second in scoring at the Worlds in Asiago, amassing ten points in five games, including seven goals;
Forward Federica Zandegiacomo added five goals and two assists. Zandegiacomo and Leitner accounted for 12 of Italy’s 21 goals;
Defenceman Katharina Sparer led her team with a +8 plus-minus;
Goaltender Debora Montanari had the lion’s share of the workload in net at the 2005 Worlds, and finished with an impressive .961 save percentage, and a 0.79 goals against average.
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André Brin Manager, Communications | Premier responsable, relations médias