CANADA GETS SHUTOUT WIN IN OLYMPIC OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL) scored two goals apiece, sending Canada's Women's Olympic Team to a 5-0 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia in its opening game Sunday at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Johnston added an assist for a three-point performance, while captain Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) chipped in with three helpers in the win.
Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin, WCHA), one of nine Canadians who made their Olympic debuts, stopped all 18 shots she faced to earn the shutout between the pipes.
Canada controlled the puck in the first period, holding a 15-5 advantage in shots on goal over the Russians, but couldn't find a way past goaltender Nadezhda Morozova, who kept the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
The best chance of the opening period belonged to Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE), who wired a shot off the crossbar behind Morozova with just under eight minutes left in the first.
Johnston needed less than two minutes of the second period to open the scoring; Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) poked the puck into the slot, where Johnston beat Morozova just inside the post.
Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) doubled the lead at 4:13, getting her stick on a Johnston shot for a power-play goal, and Daoust converted a pretty pass from Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.) late in the middle frame to make it a 3-0 game.
The Canadians came out firing in the third period, racking up half of their 48 shots on goal in the final stanza.
Johnston added her second goal of the game on the power play at 8:41, absolutely roofing a short-side shot past Morozova, and Daoust poked in a Poulin rebound just over two minutes later to cap the scoring.
The victory runs Canada's Olympic winning streak to 21; it has not lost on the biggest stage in sports since the gold medal game at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.
It will look to make it 22 on Tuesday when it faces off against Finland (2:30 a.m. ET/11:30 p.m. PT) in the second of three preliminary-round games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre.