Captain Caroline notches three points as Canada’s edged 5-4 by varsity Lower Austria Stars
by Kristen Lipscombe
ST. PӦLTEN, Austria – Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) notched two goals, including being the first to crack the scoreboard early in the first, while Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) contributed three points in the second, but the varsity Lower Austria Stars edged Canada’s National Women’s Team 5-4 on Friday, in what was the first of two pre-Olympic exhibition games at the Okanagan Hockey School and Academy Europe.
Spooner’s goal came at 5:44 in the game on an assist from Catherine Ward (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) to give Canada the early 1-0 lead. But the varsity Lower Austria Stars boys team answered back less than four minutes later, and added two more goals before the first period was done, to steal the lead and make it 3-1 going into intermission.
But Canada kept its cool going into the second, with Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) narrowing the gap with help from Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) to make it 3-2 at 7:05 in the period. Although the Lower Austria Stars widened it up again to make it 4-2 at 9:20 in the middle frame, Canada’s Spooner put it past the Austrian goal line thirteen seconds later, on another assist from Ouellette, to make it 4-3 at 9:38 in the period.
Team Canada captain Ouellette then followed up with a goal of her own, on an assist from Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) at 13:46, to help Canada tie it up at 4-4, and regain its confidence, in its first game overseas since arriving Wednesday, Jan. 22. The red and white are at the Canadian-run hockey academy in the small Austrian city near Vienna until Saturday, Feb. 1 for on-ice and off-ice training before going to Sochi, Russia, to defend their gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Although the back-and-forth action continued into the third against the school’s under-18 varsity team, the boys were able to find the back of the net once more, notching the game-winner midway through the final 20 minutes, which was good enough for the comeback and a close 5-4 win over the canuck ladies.
“It was definitely within our reach to win this one,” forward Gillian Apps (Unionville, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) said over the phone from St. Pölten following the game. The puck dropped Friday at 2:30 p.m. local time, or 6:30 a.m. MT, which is the clock the team had been training by while centralized at Hockey Canada’s home facilities in Calgary, Alta.
Canada’s National Women’s Team will have another chance against the Lower Austria Stars, this time against the school’s under-20 boys prep team next Tuesday, Jan. 28. That game starts at 5:30 p.m. local time, or 8:30 a.m. MT, in what will be the red and white’s final exhibition opportunity before Sochi 2014.
“Hopefully people can get some sleep, and get some food in them,” Apps said. “We’re still kind of adjusting to the time change a little bit, and hopefully we’ll come out and play a full 60 minutes.”
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 our social media at twitter.com/hc_women and www.facebook.com/hockeycanada.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/Match no
||Location/Lieu||St. Polten, AUT
|Date||Friday, January 24, 2014||Time/Heure||08:30 ET|
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période|
05:44 CAN Natalie Spooner (Laura Fortino) PP/AN
09:31 OHA-V Vlad Rodnov (Dimitri Iskornev, Jan Bloml)
09:52 OHA-V Dimitry Sten (Leonid Ivanouski)
13:10 OHA-V Egor Baranov (Dimitri Iskornev)
04:28 OHA-V Pauli Sztatecsny (Body-checking/Mise en échec corporelle)
|Second Period/Deuxième période|
07:05 CAN Tara Watchorn (Caroline Ouellette, Melodie Daoust)
09:20 OHA-V Cedric Irhuesogie (Jan Bloml, Egor Baranov)
09:58 CAN Natalie Spooner (Caroline Ouellette, Jennifer Wakefield)
13:06 CAN Caroline Ouellette (Marie-Philip Poulin)
02:45 CAN Marie-Philip Poulin (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
|Third Period/Troisième période|
01:20 OHA-V Leonid Ivanouski (Dimitry Sten, Svatloslav Kuchinski)
05:56 OHA-V Leonid Ivanouski (Interference/Obstruction)
|Goaltenders/Gardiennes de but|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|