CANADA BLANKS FINLAND; TILEY EARNS FIRST INTERNATIONAL SHUTOUT
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Seven was Canada’s lucky number Monday afternoon at the Budapest Ice Center.
From the first face-off until the final buzzer, Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team dominated in its game against Finland, scoring seven goals en route to a 7-0 victory and earning its second straight win in preliminary action at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
It was the red and white’s second game in less than 24 hours, but that didn’t show on the ice, with Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) opening the scoring just over six minutes into the game. Although Finland fought hard throughout the first, less than five minutes later Stéphanie Lalancette (St-Félicien, Que./Limoilou, Que.) notched her first goal wearing a Team Canada jersey, to make it 2-0 going into the intermission.
Canada riddled the Finnish goal with shots throughout the second, with goals from Ève-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que./St-Laurent, CEGEP), Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL), Jessica Healey (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, AMMMFHL), Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) and Alexandra Labelle (St-Louis-de-Gonzague, Que./St-Laurent, CEGEP) coming in quick succession – within 11 minutes of each other to be exact – making it 7-0 after 40 minutes of play.
The offensive rally marked first international goals for Healey and Labelle. “I was just kind of coming out of our end, I made a breakout pass to Brie (Bellerive) and followed the play,” Healey recalled. “She gave me a great pass and I just kind of backhanded it and put it in the net.”
Although there were no goals in the third on either side, Canada’s defensive unit kept Finland away from its net, helping the young canucks to the impressive win, in a game that featured seven great goals, but was more about skill and talent than actual luck.
Shea Tiley (Shallow Lake, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) earned her first-ever international shutout, turning away 24 pucks over three periods.
“It was a complete team effort,” Tiley said after the game. “We’ve just got to keep playing our game.”
Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team has a day off Tuesday, March 25, and then plays the Czech Republic on Wednesday, March 26 in its third and final preliminary game at worlds. The puck drops at 3 p.m. local time/10 a.m. ET.