Kazakhstan 0 - Canada 7
CANADA PEPPERS KAZAKHSTAN WITH 71 SHOTS IN 7-0 WIN AT WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
WINTERTHUR, Switzerland – Canada won the game, but Kazakhstan goaltender Daria Obydennova put on ashow.
Her 64-save performance limited the damage as the Canadian women emerged with a 7-0 victory.
Obydennova spent the post-game ceremony bent over in exhaustion. Her marathon Sunday followed her 52 savesthe previous day in a 5-3 loss to Finland.
“She played really well,” said Canadian defender Meaghan Mikkelson. “Give her a lot of props, taking thatmany shots can't be easy two games in a row like that.”
Mikkelson had a pair of goals for Canada, although one credited to her was an own-goal by Kazakhstan.Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin, Hayley Wickenheiser, Haley Irwin and Natalie Spooner also scored forCanada. Kim St-Pierre posted a 13-save shutout.
It was Canada's second win a day after opening the tournament with a 12-0 win over host Switzerland.
The Olympic champions have Monday off and conclude Pool B play Tuesday versus Finland, the Olympic bronzemedallists.
In Pool A games in Zurich, two-time defending champion U.S. downed Slovakia 5-0, while Sweden downedRussia 7-1.
The top teams in each pool earn byes to Saturday's semifinals. The second-place teams cross over to meetthe third seeds from the other pool in Friday's quarter-finals.
Kazakhstan is a women's hockey minnow to Canada's whale. According to the International Ice HockeyFederation, they have 86 registered female players to Canada's 85,000, so the Kazakhs don't face anywherenear the competition Canadians do to make their national team.
Teams such as Switzerland, ranked No. 5 in the world, and No. 8 Kazakhstan just try to keep the scorerespectable and avoid blowouts against Canada. Canada beat the Kazakhs 11-0 (2001) and 13-0 (2005) in twoprevious meetings at world championships.
Kazakhstan was able to keep the differential under double digits thanks to 20-year-old Obydennova, whomade her goaltending debut versus Canada.
“It's not a bad result in a game against Canada,” Obydennova said via a translator.
Amazingly, Kazakhstan's team management didn't choose Obydennova as their player of the game againstCanada, but gave that honour to forward Lyubov Ibragimova.
In contrast to Saturday night's adrenaline-fuelled opener against the Swiss in front of a sellout, Canadafaced a quiet building for their afternoon tilt against the Kazakhs. Announced attendance was 411, but therewere fewer than 100 actual spectators in the building.
The Canadians had to generate their own energy on less than 24 hours of recovery.
“It's a quick turnaround, but I think when you ask anybody, when you get out there on the ice and whetherthere's 10 fans in the stands or a packed house, you keep your focus on the ice,” Mikkelson said. “Thecoaching staff has been harping on us to keep good habits and that's the most important moving forward.
“We need to play every game like it's the gold-medal game, like we're playing Sweden or Finland or theU.S., and stay honest with what we're doing.”
Canada led 2-0 and 5-0 at period breaks. The Kazakhs all play for one club team – Aisulu Almaty – so theirteam game is there. They clogged up the front of the net to help their goaltender.
They lack the puck skills of Canada and struggled to string together passes at the speed Canada makes themplay. The Canadians had the puck the vast majority of the time.
Captain Viktoria Sazonova misplayed the puck to Obydennova's right and knocked it behind her own goalie inthe second period.
Obydennova said Kazakhstan needs to get more girls in hockey and that boxing is a more popular femalesport there. The national team also needs more games against top-calibre countries like Canada and the U.S.to take the next step, she added.
Knowing the Kazakhs were a team Canada could beat and beat badly, Canadian head coach Ryan Walter setgoals on which his players could focus: getting shots through traffic to the net; improving line changes;passing up to the defenceman in the offensive zone instead of skating the puck up; cycling the puck to thenet in the offensive zone.
“We accomplished what we thought we wanted to get done and I'm proud of the girls,” Walter said. “The lasttwo games are not easy games to coach or to play, but we're hoping it'll help build hockey here inEurope.”
|Arena||Eishalle Deutweg||City, Country||Winterthur, SUI|
|Month / Day / Year||04/17/2011||Time||10:00 AM ET|
09:22 CAN 13 Caroline Ouellette (26 Sarah Vaillancourt, 29 Marie-Philip Poulin) PP
12:05 CAN 22 Hayley Wickenheiser
00:55 CAN 29 Marie-Philip Poulin (13 Caroline Ouellette)
07:33 CAN 12 Meaghan Mikkelson
19:46 CAN 12 Meaghan Mikkelson (26 Sarah Vaillancourt, 18 Catherine Ward) PP
03:42 CAN 21 Haley Irwin (6 Rebecca Johnston, 3 Jocelyne Larocque)
12:01 CAN 24 Natalie Spooner
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|