Canada opened the 2009 Women’s World Hockey Championship with a 13-1 win against overmatched China on Saturday.
Rebecca Johnston, Hayley Wickenheiser, Gillian Apps and Sarah Vaillancourt led the goalscoring with a pair apiece. Canada spread the rest of the scoring out among Carla MacLeod, Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin, Meghan Agosta and Haley Irwin.
Wickenheiser and Vaillancourt had five-point games with three assists each to go with their two goals. Irwin had a four-point performance in her World Championship debut as she also had three assists in addition to her goal.
Ouellette had two assists and Jennifer Botterill’s two pushed her past a career 100 in her 160th game.
Goaltender Charline Labonté faced only four shots for the victory. Canada pelted Chinese counterpart Yao Shi with 41 shots before she was replaced late in the second period by Dandan Jia, who faced 35 for a total of 76.
Canada meets Sweden on Monday in Pool B play of the preliminary round. The Swedes beat Canada for the first time at the Four Nations Cup in November with a 3-2 overtime win.
The nine-time champion Canadians are attempting to reclaim the world title they lost to the U.S. last year in Harbin, China.
Canada set team records Saturday for the fastest two and three goals scored in history. MacLeod and then Ouellette struck within 10 seconds of each other starting at 3:53 of the first period to better the previous record of 11 seconds. Vaillancourt made it three goals in a span of 46 seconds to beat the previous top time of 55 seconds.
Sun Rui scored China’s first goal against Canada in nine years at 14:05 of the first period. She knocked down a floating pass from Jin Fengling to beat Labonté on China’s second shot of the game for a power-play goal.
While the score more lopsided than Canada’s 11-0 win over China last year in Harbin, it reflected the large gap that still exists between the world’s top four teams and the rest of the field.
The disparity in international hockey development isn’t a condition exclusive to women as Canada’s under-20 men’s team thumped Kazakhstan 15-0 at the World Junior Championship in Ottawa in December.
China has less than 200 female players compared to over 77,000 in Canada. While Chinese government began putting more resources into its women’s hockey team to qualify for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, China head coach Paul Strople of Halifax says his team’s goal at these World Championships is simply to avoid being one of two teams relegated to the world ‘B’ Championship in 2011.
The Canadians were faster to the loose puck and stronger protecting it so China rarely had it. The majority of the game was played in China’s end as the Canadians cycled the puck almost at will.
With new personnel on the Canadian team, head coach Melody Davidson had Jayna Hefford centring a line with Apps and Wickenheiser. Ouellette, moving back to forward from defence, and Gina Kingsbury flanked Botterill. Irwin played between Agosta and Vaillancourt. Meaghan Mikkelson, who also moved up to forward from defence, Johnston and Poulin rounded out the forward lines.
Gillian Ferrari and Catherine Ward, Carla MacLeod and Sostorics, Becky Kellar and Tessa Bonhomme were the defensive pairings.
NOTES: Poulin of Beauceville, Que., became the third-youngest to play for Canada at a World Championship or an Olympic Games at 18 years, seven months. Hayley Wickenheiser (15 at 1994 worlds) and Cheryl Pounder (17 at 1994 worlds) were the youngest…Poulin, Irwin of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Montreal defenceman Ward all made their World Championship debuts Saturday.
03:43 – GOAL – MacLeod (Sostorics, Apps)
03:53 – GOAL – Ouellette (Kingsbury, Botterill)
04:29 – GOAL – Vaillancourt (Ouellette, Botterill)
05:33 – PEN – Tan, tripping
06:31 – PP GOAL – Poulin (Mikkelson, Agosta)
08:01 – PEN – Jin, hooking
12:47 – PEN – Ouellette, cross checking
14:06 – PP GOAL – Sun (Jin, Zhang S.)
14:21 – GOAL – Agosta (Vaillancourt, Irwin)
17:44 – PEN – Jiang, tripping
26:35 – GOAL – Johnston (Irwin)
35:15 – PEN – Jiang, hooking
36:24 – PP GOAL – Wickenheiser (Ward, Ouellette)
37:11 – GOAL – Irwin (Johnston)
38:48 – GOAL – Johnston (Bonhomme, Irwin)
40:23 – GOAL – Apps (Wickenheiser, Vaillancourt)
45:54 – GOAL – Wickenheiser (Vaillancourt)
51:18 – PEN – Qi, hooking
51:55 – PEN – Hefford, slashing
55:58 – GOAL – Apps (MacLeod, Wickenheiser)
58:56 – GOAL – Vaillancourt (Wickenheiser)
W: Labonté (4-5)
L: Shi (33-40), Jia (29-35)
SHOTS ON GOAL
22+25+28 = 75
2+2+1 = 5
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Kim St-Pierre. Defence: Tessa Bonhomme, Gillian Ferrari, Becky Kellar, Carla MacLeod, Meaghan Mikkelson, Colleen Sostorics, Catherine Ward. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Rebecca Johnston, Gina Kingsbury, Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Vaillancourt, Hayley Wickenheiser.
Goaltenders: Jia Dandan, Shi Yao. Defence: Jiang Na, Lou Yue, Tan Anqi, Yu Baiwei, Wang Nan, Qi Xueting, Zhang Shuang. Forwards: Cui Shanshan, Gao Fujin, Huang Haijing, Huo Cui, Jin Fengling, Ma Rui, Su Ziwei, Sun Rui, Wang Linuo, Zhang Ben.
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. CHN)
CAN 8-0 CHN – 04/20/1992 – WWC – Tampere
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. CHN)
CAN 11-0 CHN – 04/06/2008 – WWC – Harbin
|Last IHLC Game
CAN 3-0 FIN – 03/31/2009 – EX – Lempäälä
|Next IHLC Game
CAN 7-0 SWE – 04/06/2009 – WWC – Hämeenlinna