Johnston’s hat trick and first period burst help Canada’s National Women’s Team beat prep Lower Austria Stars 8-1 in final pre-Olympic game
by Kristen Lipscombe
ST. PӦLTEN, Austria – Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) scored three of Canada's seven goals in the first period, and added an assist, while Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) recorded five points to lead Canada’s National Women’s Team to an 8-1 win over the Lower Austria Stars prep team on Tuesday at the Okanagan Hockey Academy Europe.
It was the red and white’s final game before they hit the ice in Sochi, Russia, next month to defend their gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The victory over the top boys’ team at the hockey academy in St. Pölten allows Team Canada to cap off a busy 2013-14 season on a positive note.
Hefford kicked off Canada’s scoring just 30 seconds into the game, with Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) and Johnston both assisting. Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Ruthven, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) added another at the 3:23 mark with help from Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS), and Johnston scored her first at 5:14 with assists from Hefford and Poulin to make it 3-0 early in the first.
Hefford also set up the next play, feeding Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) at 7:24, then following up to assist Johnston’s second goal, which came on a power play, along with Poulin. Canada quickly capitalized on another power play, with Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Ouellette assisting Agosta-Marciano’s second goal of the game at 12:33, while Hefford and Gillian Apps (Unionville, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) helped Johnston complete her hat trick with less than a minute in a half left in the first to give the Canadians an impressive 7-0 lead going into intermission.
That first period offensive burst was too hard to repeat in the second and third, with Canada adding just one more goal in the final 40 minutes, again on a power play midway through the game. Catherine Ward (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) and Poulin set up Wickenheiser to increase the lead to 8-0 at 12:26 in the middle frame.
But the Lower Austria Stars were able to narrow the gap back to a seven-goal difference in the third, with Marton Ladanyi scoring the prep team’s lone goal of the game at 5:58 in the period. The clock ran out before the Okanagan Hockey Academy squad was able to add another, and Canada’s National Women’s Team skated away with a confidence-boosting win before the puck drops Feb. 8 at Sochi 2014.
Team Canada netminder Charline Labonté (Boisbriand, Que./Montreal, CWHL) turned away 31 shots, while three OHA goaltenders split duties between the posts for the Lower Austria Stars. Canada’s National Women’s Team has been competing, training and practising at the Canadian-run Okanagan Hockey Academy Europe since Jan. 22 and leaves for Russia this Saturday.
Follow Canada's National Women's Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games by visiting Hockey Canada's official website at www.hockeycanada.ca/2014women 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||Tuesday, January 28, 2014||Time/Heure||11:30 ET|
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période|
|Second Period/Deuxième période|
|Third Period/Troisième période|
|Goaltenders/Gardien(ne)s de but|
|OHA-P||Maximilian Wehrhan; Patrick Brna (in 1st/08:35); Frederick Foltan (in 2nd/03:05)|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|