Team Canada Black scored twice in the first period, then used strong goaltending from Delayne Brian (Winnipeg, MB) to hold on for a 3-2 win over Team Canada White on Saturday afternoon at the National Women’s Under-19 Program Evaluation Camp in Calgary.
Brian turned aside 23 of the 24 shots she faced, as Canada Black held a narrow advantage in shots on goal, 29-25, and used that to record a narrow win on the scoreboard.
Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, QC) got Canada Black out in front close to seven minutes into the opening frame, picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, outracing the Canada White defenders and flipping a backhand over goaltender Melissa Murphy (Pigeon Hill, NB) for a shorthanded marker.
The lead became two with five minutes to go in the first period, as Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, SK) finished off a beautiful cross-ice pass from Brianne Jenner (St. Catharines, ON) for her second goal in three games.
Penalties continued to haunt Canada Black in the second period, as they handed Canada White a number of man advantage opportunities to get back into the game.
After Canada White failed to capitalize on their chances throughout the second period, Stephanie Ramsay (Calgary, AB) finally got her team on the board with a spectacular individual effort with three minutes to go, maneuvering around a pair of Canada Black defenders before sliding the puck around Brian, giving her team momentum heading to the final period.
With Canada Black needing a larger goal differential to ensure they advanced to Sunday’s championship game, Brian was pulled from the goal with less than a minute to go in the final frame. The move backfired, however, as Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, ON) found the empty net to knot the game 2-2.
Canada Black would still leave with the ‘W’ though, as Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, ON) found the back of the net after a scramble in front of Murphy with just 10.4 seconds to go.
The teams finished the round robin with identical 2-1 records, and await the outcome of Saturday night’s Canada Red/Japan game to see who will play for third place on Sunday morning, and who will play in the championship game on Sunday afternoon.