Sarah Vaillancourt led the way with a goal and an assist as the National Women’s Team started its road to the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship with a 3-1 pre-tournament win over the United States on Thursday night.
Vaillancourt’s goal was the first of three to beat American netminder Brianne McLaughlin in the second period as the Canadians did all of their damage in the middle frame.
Canada held a 9-8 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, but solid play from McLaughlin and Canadian netminder Shannon Szabados sent the game to the intermission scoreless.
It took just 1:55 for the Canadians to get on the board in the second period, as Hayley Wickenheiser set up Vaillancourt for a 1-0 lead.
The lead stretched to 2-0 when Vaillancourt and Catherine Ward combined to set up Meaghan Mikkelson, and Jayna Hefford made it a three-goal advantage with a shorthanded effort four minutes later.
The Americans finally got on the board thanks to a Jen Schoullis goal at 16:39 of the second period, but that would be the only puck to beat Szabados, who made 17 saves to record the victory in the Canadian goal.
The two teams wrap up the pre-tournament mini-series on Friday night at the Ice Cube.
IHLC: With the win, Canada retains their 23rd International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won in the Gold Medal Game of the Four Nations Cup back in November. This was the 98th meeting between Canada and the Americans, their last being the aforementioned Gold Medal matchup, which Canada won 3-2 in overtime in St. John’s. These two lock horns again tomorrow, with the winner taking the IHLC across the pond to Switzerland for the World Championships.
12:33 – PEN – Steadman, body checking
21:55 – GOAL – Vaillancourt (Wickenheiser)
26:54 – PEN – Irwin, tripping
29:14 – GOAL – Mikkelson (Ward, Vaillancourt)
31:48 – PEN – Bonhomme, body checking
33:40 – SH GOAL – Hefford
36:39 – GOAL – Schoullis (Chu)
42:22 – PEN – Thatcher, high sticking
47:03 – PEN – Ruggiero, roughing
47:03 – PEN – Wakefield, slashing
48:55 – PEN – Engstrom, tripping
59:26 – PEN – Slusar, tripping
W: Szabados (17-18)
L: McLaughlin (18-21)
SHOTS ON GOAL
9+6+6 = 21
8+6+4 = 18
Goaltenders: Charline Labonté, Kim St-Pierre, Shannon Szabados. Defence: Tessa Bonhomme, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bobbi Jo Slusar, Catherine Ward, Tara Watchorn. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Rebecca Johnston, Caroline Ouellette, Cherie Piper, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Sarah Vaillancourt, Jennifer Wakefield, Hayley Wickenheiser.
Goaltenders: Brianne McLaughlin, Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter. Defence: Kacey Bellamy, Blake Bolden, Megan Bozek, Caitlin Cahow, Molly Engstrom, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Angela Ruggiero, Anne Schleper. Forwards: Hannah Brandt, Alex Carpenter, Julie Chu, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Gigi Marvin, Amanda Pelkey, Jenny Schmidgall, Jen Schoullis, Kelli Stack, Kelley Steadman, Karen Thatcher, Taylor Wasylk.
Article Credit: Hockey Canada