CANADA PULLS AWAY IN THIRD, BEATS CZECHS IN NATIONS CUP OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
FÜSSEN, Germany – Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) scored once and added two assists to lead Canada’s National Women’s Development Team to a 6-2 victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday in the first game for both at the 2017 Nations Cup.
The Canadians held a narrow 3-2 lead after two periods before running off three unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes to record the comfortable win.
Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./Boston University, HE) and Élizabeth Giguère (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) finished with a goal and an assist each for the Canadians, while Jill Saulnier (Halifax, N.S./Calgary, CWHL), Sarah Davis (Paradise, N.L./Calgary, CWHL) and Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./University of Minnesota, WCHA) each added goals of their own.
Canada hit the scoreboard first when Saulnier scored on the power play at 15:10, but Katerina Bukolska replied for the Czechs only 50 seconds later, sending the game to the first intermission tied 1-1.
Davis needed just 16 seconds of the second period to put the Canadians ahead for good, and Giguere scored with the Canadians enjoying a man advantage at 18:01 for the eventual winner.
Again the Czechs responded quickly, with Tereza Vanisova beating Canadian goaltender Erica Howe (Orleans, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) 16 seconds later to make it a 3-2 game in favour of Canada after 40 minutes.
Bach gave the Canadians some breathing room with a goal 8:30 into the third period, finishing off a set-up from Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./University of Wisconsin, WCHA).
Ambrose scored at 12:47, and Agnew capped the scoring less than four minutes later.
The Canadians are right back to action Thursday (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT), taking on Sweden in their second of three preliminary-round games. They close out the round robin Friday against co-host Germany (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT).