SPOONER LEADS CANADA BACK INTO WIN COLUMN AT WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
ESPOO, Finland – Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) had a hat trick and an assist to pace the offence and help Canada’s National Women’s Team down Russia 5-1 on Monday at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Spooner’s first goal was the 50th of her national team career, making her just the 12th player to reach the milestone. She also sits just 12 points away from becoming the 14th to record 100 points.
Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) and Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./Calgary, CWHL) had the other goals for the Canadians, who were in control from the first drop of the puck.
Russian netminder Anna Prugova was the story of the first period, making 14 saves to keep the game close.
Spooner had the lone goal of the opening frame on the power play, getting her stick on a shot from Brigette Lacquette (Mallard, Man./Calgary, CWHL) at 13:43 to send the Canadians to the dressing room with the lead.
The floodgates opened in the second period; Canada held Russia without a shot on goal while directing 20 at Prugova and Nadezhda Morozova.
Johnston doubled the advantage at 4:22, circling the net, spinning in the slot and beating Prugova, and Turnbull poked a Spooner rebound through the goaltender two minutes after that to make it 3-0.
That was all for Prugova, who gave way to Morozova after allowing three goals on 23 shots.
Spooner took over in the back half of the middle stanza, scoring a pair of carbon-copy goals.
Her second of the game came just shy of the 12-minute mark when she beat Morozova to the near post on a wraparound, and she finished her hat trick less than four minutes later with another wraparound, this time to the far post.
It is the second women’s worlds hat trick for Spooner; she scored three times (and added an assist) in a 5-3 semifinal win over Finland at the 2016 tournament in Kamloops, B.C.
Liana Ganeyeva got Russia on the board on the power play early in the third period when her point shot hit a Canadian stick and eluded goaltender Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Montreal, CWHL), but that would be it for scoring.
Canada finished with a 45-8 advantage in shots on goal.
It’s right back to action Tuesday for the Canadians, who face host Finland (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT) to close out the preliminary round.