2021 wwc can fin

Women’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Finland

Wednesday, August 18 | 4 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Pre-Tournament

Jason La Rose
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August 18, 2021
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GAME NOTES: Canada vs. Finland (August 18)

TV: TSN | TSN Direct

Finally. It’s game day. After 557 days, Canada’s National Women’s Team gets back to international competition when it faces off with Finland in pre-tournament action ahead of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

LAST GAME

You have to go all the way back to Feb. 8, 2020 for the last official Team Canada game. That night in Anaheim, Jill Saulnier and Loren Gabel scored first-period goals and Mélodie Daoust gave the Canadians a lead in the second, but the U.S. closed out the Rivalry Series with a 4-3 overtime win. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world a month later.

The Finns’ last game also came Feb. 8, 2020; they closed out the Euro Hockey Tour with a 4-0 win over the tournament hosts in Tranås, Sweden. Michelle Karvinen scored twice, Jenni Hiirikoski and Ronja Savolainen had one each and Noora Räty made 21 saves for the shutout.

LAST MEETING

The Canadians have had lots of time to think about this one. Finland sprung a semifinal upset on home ice at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship, getting 43 saves from Räty in a 4-2 win.

Jamie Lee Rattray opened the scoring less than three minutes in and Gabel brought the Canadians even at 2-2 midway through the second period, but Susanna Tapani got the game-winner late in the middle frame and Räty shut the door with 13 saves in the third to keep Canada from the gold medal game for the first time ever.

WHAT TO WATCH

The Canadian roster is an interesting mix of youth and experience. This is the fourth-oldest group Canada has ever brought to women’s worlds (the average age is 26 years, nine months), but more than a quarter of the roster – seven of the 25 – have fewer than 10 games of National Women’s Team experience, and eight have never played at a world championship. The usual suspects will lead the way (Poulin, Jenner, Johnston, et al.), but it will be interesting to see how the new blood fits in.

For the Finns, it starts and ends with Hiirikoski. The captain is the heart and soul of her team, and is unquestionably the best blue-liner in the world – she has been honoured as Top Defenceman at each of the last six women’s worlds, and seven of the last eight. With Räty not part of the Finnish roster, all eyes will be on No. 6.

A LOOK BACK

The Finns have been frequent foes for Canada – only the U.S. has stood across the ice more often. The 80-game history belongs to the Canadians; they won 70 of the first 71 meetings, with only a 6-6 tie in 1999 interrupting that run. Finland finally broke through at the 2017 women’s worlds with a 4-3 prelim win, but Canada got its revenge in a 4-0 semifinal triumph.

Jayna Hefford owns the single-game scoring record for Canada, posting seven points – a hat trick and four assists – in an 8-1 win over the Finns at the 2006 4 Nations Cup. Caroline Ouellette added three goals and three helpers of her own in that one; those are two of just 10 six-point efforts in Team Canada history.

All-time record: Canada leads 77-2-1
Canada goals: 408
Finland goals: 102

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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