DESBIENS EARNS SHUTOUT, CANADA GETS FIRST WIN AT WOMEN’S WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
MALMÖ, Sweden – Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) made 19 saves for the shutout in her first national team appearance, and Canada’s National Women’s Team cracked the win column at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship with a 4-0 victory over Russia on Sunday.
Desbiens is the second goaltender to earn a shutout in her Team Canada debut; Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Harvard University, ECAC) blanked Finland at the 2014 4 Nations Cup last November.
Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL), Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Brampton, CWHL), Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) had the Canadian goals.
After falling behind the United States early in Saturday’s tournament-opening loss, the Canadians struck quickly against the Russians; Ouellette redirected a Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./University of North Dakota, WCHA) shot just 65 seconds in.
Fortino made it 2-0 at 7:17, taking a pass from Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) and roofing a wrist shot over the glove of Russian netminder Yulia Leskina.
Birchard added one more to the Canadian total on a buzzer-beater, hammering a slap shot through Leskina from outside the blue-line with just 0.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
The Canadians controlled the puck for much of the first 40 minutes, and Poulin capped the scoring at 12:25 of the second period, roofing a backhand over the glove of Maria Sorokina, who had replaced Leskina.
Russia’s best chance to beat Desbiens came on a trio of third-period power plays, including an extended five-on-three advantage that lasted 1:46, but the Canadian defence stood tall, keeping the Russians off the scoresheet.
Ouellette, Birchard and Poulin finished with a goal and an assist apiece, while Johnston added two helpers.
Canada wraps up preliminary play Tuesday at the Malmö Isstadion, taking on Finland at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. The game can be seen live on TSN, as can all of Canada’s games at the world championship.