Canada won its first game against the U.S. at the women’s world hockey championship, but it’s more important for them to win the second one. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Botterill and Montreal’s Caroline Ouellette scored in Canada’s 2-1 victory Friday that served as a preview of Sunday’s championship game.
Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., had two assists to surpass a career 200, which made her only the third player to do so behind Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette. Monique Lamoureux of the U.S. cut the deficit in half with less than two minutes remaining in the game, but the Americans couldn’t produce the equalizer despite pulling goaltender Molly Schaus for an extra attacker.
Canada (4-0) and the U.S. (3-1) were going to meet for the 12th time in as many World Championships regardless of the result of Friday’s playoff game. But Canada wanted to beat the defending world champions after losing to their archrival three of four times in 2008.
Canadian goaltender Charline Labonté hadn’t played since facing just five shots in a tournament-opening 13-1 win over China. She showed no rust, however. Her spectacular save halfway through the first period injected confidence into her teammates and Labonté also made two tough saves during a U.S. 5-on-3 in the third period. She stopped 23 shots for the win, while Schaus made 35 saves on 37 shots.
Canada will be the home team Sunday. Sweden and Finland will meet for the bronze medal. The Swedes thrashed Russia 8-0 on Friday. Japan doubled China 2-1 in the relegation round. The U.S. outshot the Canadians in their three victories last year, so the Canadians were bent on getting the puck to the net and bodies in front of it to collect rebounds. The Americans were also short-handed more than the Canadians with 10 minor penalties to Canada’s seven.
Lamoureux took a deflected a pass from behind the net from twin sister Jocelyne and foiled Labonté’s shutout bid at 18:02. The puck rebounded out from the back of the net, so German referee Nicole Hertrich ruled it valid only after a video review. Canada’s penalty killers put together a crucial kill in the third period as the U.S. played almost a minute with a two-man advantage. Labonté made big pad saves on both Gigi Marvin and U.S. captain Natalie Darwitz during the American power play.
Hefford’s pass from the corner found Ouellette on the U.S. doorstep and she tucked the puck under Schaus for her third of the tournament at 9:05 of the second period. After a scoreless first period, Botterill opened the scoring 26 seconds in with a power-play goal. She put a shot off the post and in on a feed from Hefford behind the goal-line. Labonté robbed Meghan Duggan with a sprawling glove save halfway through the first period. Duggan dropped to one knee to tip in a goal-mouth pass and the Americans were already throwing their arms in the air in celebration when Labonté snared it in the webbing of her glove. Labonté also deflected Jenny Potter’s short-handed breakaway in the second period.
NOTES: Canada improved to 48-31-1 versus the U.S. all time…Edmonton goaltender Shannon Szabados dressed for the first time this tournament as Labonté’s backup.
06:18 – PEN – Ruggiero, interference
12:11 – PEN – Apps, interference
15:34 – PEN – Resor, tripping
19:34 – PEN – Duggan, body checking
20:26 – PP GOAL – Botterill (Hefford)
21:12 – PEN – Stack, holding
25:23 – PEN – Ouellette, tripping
29:05 – GOAL – Ouellette (Hefford)
30:16 – PEN – Ruggiero, boarding
34:14 – PEN – Agosta, holding
35:37 – PEN – Ferrari, tripping
38:18 – PEN – J. Lamoureux, holding
41:06 – PEN – Botterill, interference
42:21 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, interference
45:00 – PEN – M. Lamoureux, high sticking
46:05 – PEN – Engstrom, body checking
50:13 – PEN – Sostorics, holding
51:23 – PEN – Mikkelson, tripping
55:30 – PEN – Bellamy, tripping
58:02 – GOAL – M. Lamoureux (J. Lamoureux)
W: Labonté (22-23)
L: Schaus (33-35)
SHOTS ON GOAL
10+17+8 = 35
6+6+11 = 23
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: Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Caitlin Cahow, Lisa Chesson, Molly Engstrom, Helen Resor, Angela Ruggiero, Kerry Weiland. Forwards: Julie Chu, Natalie Darwitz, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Erika Lawler, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Gigi Marvin, Jenny Schmidgall, Kelli Stack, Karen Thatcher.
|CANADA (C)||vs.||UNITED STATES|
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
CAN 2-1 USA – 04/21/1987 – WWT – North York
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
CAN 4-2 USA – 11/06/2008 – FNC – Lake Placid
|Last IHLC Game
CAN 8-0 FIN – 04/08/2009 – WWC – Hämeenlinna
|Next IHLC Game
USA 4-1 CAN – 04/12/2009 – WWC – Hämeenlinna