CALGARY, AB -- Jayna Hefford of Kingston, ON and Lori Dupuis of Williamstown, ON scored third-period goals to break open a tight game as Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey Team shut out the Chinese National Women's Team 3-0 on Thursday night at Father David Bauer Arena.
Two-time Women's World Hockey Champion Manon Rhéaume of Lac Beauport, QC and Winnipeg's Sami Jo Small, making her international hockey debut, combined to turn away just a dozen shots by Team China for the shutout. It was Canada's second victory in as many nights against the Chinese, who are ranked fourth in the world.
As things turned out, Kathy McCormack of Fredericton, NB scored the only goal Canada would need, at 9:27 of the opening period when she finished off a play with linemates Hayley Wickenheiser of Calgary and France St-Louis of St-Hubert, QC. Canada outshot China 9-1 in the opening period and 28-12 overall as Chinese goalie Huo Lina's strong work kept her team in the game. There was no scoring in the second period, when China was outshot 10-3, but Lina's best saves came in the third. Lina made a cluster of fine stops, including solid saves on a Cassie Campbell slap shot, another by McCormack and a two or three chances by Hefford.
On her goal, Hefford cut past a Chinese defender to the net, took a pass from defender Rebecca Fahey of Sackville, NB, and whipped a wrist shot past Lina during a Canadian power play at 10:27. Dupuis was killing a double minor penalty called against Wickenheiser late in the game, when she intercepted a pass just outside the Chinese blue line, skated in alone on Lina and drilled a wrist shot through Lina's legs.
Canada, which has roster of 28 Olympic hopefuls vying for 20 spots on the roster for the first-ever Women's Olympic Hockey Tournament at Nagano next February, did not dress goalies Lesley Reddon and Danielle Dube, defenders Fiona Smith and Therese Brisson and forwards Danielle Goyette, Dana Antal and Vicky Sunohara.
Team Canada's next game is on Thursday, Oct. 16 against Sweden at Father David Bauer Arena. That game is the first of a four-game series against the Swedes that will take Team Canada to three Saskatchewan cities: Saskatoon on Oct. 17; Regina on Oct. 19 and Melfort, hometown of Canadian head coach Shannon Miller, on Oct. 20.