GABEL LEADS CANADA PAST FINNS AT WOMEN’S WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
ESPOO, Finland – Loren Gabel (Kitchener, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) scored a pair of goals and added an assist, and Canada’s National Women’s Team closed out the preliminary round at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship with a 6-1 win over Finland on Tuesday.
The victory leaves Canada second in Group A with a 3-0-0-1 record and sets up a Thursday quarter-final against Germany (time TBD). It’ll be just the sixth meeting ever between the Canadians and Germans, and first since the 2007 women’s worlds.
Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) scored the other goals for the Canadians, who outshot Finland 49-23.
Ann-Sophie Bettez (Sept-Îles, Que./Montreal, CWHL) had a pair of assists, recording her first career points with the national team.
Gabel started the scoring just past the midway mark of the first period, redirecting a Bettez shot under the arm of Finnish goaltender Noora Räty, and Johnston jumped on an Ambrose rebound three minutes later to make it 2-0.
Räty kept it a two-goal game through much of the second period, but Gabel streaked in off the left wing and wired a shot upstairs at 15:35 to stretch the Canadian lead to three.
That was all for Räty, who was replaced by Eveliina Suonpaa after allowing three goals on 29 shots.
Jenner added a fourth Canadian marker before the end of the middle frame, taking a gorgeous feed from Gabel and going to the backhand to beat Suonpaa.
Ella Viitasuo got the Finns on the board early in the third period, getting a seeing-eye wrist shot through traffic and past Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Buffalo, NWHL) to get the pro-Finnish crowd at Metro Areena back into the game, but a pair of quick-strike Canadian goals put the game away.
Nurse was first, jumping onto a loose puck in the offensive zone and roofing a shot over the glove of Suonpaa, and Ambrose pinched in off the blue-line to redirect in a Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Markham, CWHL) pass less than two minutes later.
Szabados was at her busiest in the third period, making nine of her 22 saves to help improve to 17-0 all-time against the Finns.