LESLIE ENDS MARATHON SHOOTOUT, GOLD BEATS JAPAN AGAIN
JASON LA ROSE
CALGARY, Alta. – Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Boston University, HE) scored in Round 9, the lone goal of the shootout, to give Gold a 5-4 extra-time win over Japan on Friday night at Canada’s National Women’s Development Team selection camp.
It’s the second win in as many days for Gold over the Japanese after a 5-1 victory Thursday.
After the first 16 shooters had failed to find the back of the net, Leslie came in with speed down the right wing and went to the backhand to beat Japanese goaltender Akane Konishi.
Marlène Boissonnault (Dundee, N.B./Cornell University, ECAC) turned aside Suzuka Taka – her ninth save in as many chances – to clinch the win.
Japan struck early to take the lead, scoring before the three-minute mark; Rui Ukita went cross-ice for Haruna Yoneyama, whose one-timer knuckled under the blocker of Canadian netminder Kassidy Sauvé (Whitby, Ont./Ohio State University, WCHA).
Christina Putigna (Hamilton, Ont./Providence College, HE) equalized for Gold just shy of the 13-minute mark, knocking in a centering pass from Codie Cross (Airdrie, Alta./Northeastern University, ECAC), and Leslie gave the Canadian side its first lead at 14:21, redirecting a feed from Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) in behind Konishi.
But the Japanese needed just 15 seconds to tie the game, with Ukita beating Sauvé to send the game to the intermission even at 2-2.
Loren Gabel (Kitchener, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) restored the Gold lead just three minutes into the second period, spinning in front and getting a backhand up and over Konishi, but Japan would score a pair before the end of the middle frame.
Yoneyama got her second of the game just over three minutes after the Gabel goal, sneaking a backhand under the arm of Sauvé, and Shoko Ono welcomed Boissonnault with a breakaway goal at 16:24 for a 3-2 lead.
With time running out on Gold in the third period, Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C./St. Lawrence University, ECAC) picked up a loose puck off the face-off and wired a shot past Konishi to tie the game and force overtime.
Both teams had glorious chances to win in the extra period; Ève-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que./University of Vermont, HE) rang a shot off the post from point-blank range, before Ukita was denied by the right pad of Boissonnault on a breakaway.
Gold wraps up its camp schedule on Saturday, taking on the U SPORTS all-stars (2:30 p.m. MT), while Japan closes its camp against the university side on Sunday (10 a.m. MT).