The Canadian women’s hockey team fought back to beat host Finland 3-2 at the 12 Nations tournament Tuesday.
Trailing 2-1 after two periods, Meghan Agosta tied the game at 12:19 of the third before Jennifer Wakefield scored the winner with two minutes remaining at the Vierumäki Ice Rink.
Bobbi-Jo Slusar also scored for Canada, which is 4-1 in the tournament. Caroline Ouellette added three assists.
Michelle Karvinen scored a pair for Finland in the second period with Karoliina Rantamäki assisting on both goals.
Canada brought only 10 forwards to the tournament, so they are seeing a lot of ice time.
“It was definitely factor in the game tonight,” Canadian head coach Dan Church. “We were fatigued for sure and we saw some of that in how we played, making some mistakes on simple plays we wouldn’t normally make.
“But it’s important for us to learn how to play tired and execute when we’re tired. We were able to gut our way through the tough times and have our best period in the third period.”
Liz Knox made 16 saves for the win. She recovered from getting pulled early Monday versus the U.S.
“She played well in the first period and (had) an unlucky bounce on one that went off the defence’s skate today,” Church said. “Overall a good, bounce-back game for her.”
Noora Räty made 33 saves in Finland’s net.
“She gave them an opportunity (to win) tonight and they played well in front of her for two periods,” Church said. “I think they played a little bit tight in the third period when we came on.”
Canada concludes the tournament Wednesday versus Sweden.
“We want to test out players and see how they play in these five games in five days,” Church said. “I’m pretty sure, knowing the character in the room, they’ll respond really well.”
He plans to start split the final game between goaltenders Geneviève Lacasse and Christina Kessler.
The U.S. (5-0) finishes the round-robin tournament Wednesday versus Finland.
The 12 Nations tournament is a new event in women’s international hockey. The International Ice Hockey Federation wants to close the large skill gaps between countries by providing more competitions. It is hoped federations will put more money into the sport and that individual players will be more motivated to improve their skills and fitness.
Canada, the U.S., Sweden, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia and Japan are among the pool of teams in Vierumäki, while France, Germany, Norway and the Czech Republic played a mini-tournament against each other in Courcheval, France.
IHLC: With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it won a day prior over the United States in an exhibition game in Vierumäki, a 4-3 shootout win. The U.S. entered the tournament with the IHLC, garnering four straight wins before losing the title to Team Canada, who faces Finland over the IHLC for the first time since the 2010 Olympic Semifinal, which Canada won 5-0 en route to the Gold Medal Game. Canada next faces Sweden at Vierumäki with the IHLC on the line.
08:23 – PEN – team, too many players
10:59 – PEN – Saarimaki, hooking
12:06 – PP GOAL – Slusar (Ouellette)
19:42 – PEN – Tuominen, interference
26:47 – PEN – Bendus, cross checking
27:20 – PP GOAL – Karvinen (Rantamäki)
30:29 – GOAL – Karvinen (Rantamäki, Mertanen)
41:40 – PEN – Tikkinen, tripping
46:45 – PEN – Hiirikoski, hooking
49:07 – PEN – Hefford, hooking
52:19 – GOAL – Agosta (Hefford, Ouellette)
58:00 – GOAL – Wakefield (Birchard, Ouellette)
W: Knox (16-18)
L: Räty (33-36)
SHOTS ON GOAL
24+10+2 = 36
8+6+4 = 18
Goaltenders: Christina Kessler, Liz Knox, Geneviéve Lacasse. Defence: Courtney Birchard, Tessa Bonhomme, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bobbi Jo Slusar, Catherine Ward. Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Vicki Bendus, Emmanuelle Blais, Mallory Deluce, Jayna Hefford, Haley Irwin, Caroline Ouellette, Jesse Scanzano, Jennifer Wakefield.
Goaltenders: Susanna Airaksinen, Meeri Räisänen, Noora Räty, Anna Vanhatalo. Defence: Essi Hallvar, Jenni Hiirikoski, Mira Jalosuo, Anna Kilponen, Rosa Lindstedt, Karoliina Mäenpänen, Terhi Mertanen, Mariia Posa, Isa Rahunen, Tea Villilä. Forwards: Venla Hovi, Johanna Juutilainen, Sari Karna, Michelle Karvinen, Pia Lund, Niina Mäkinen, Tanja Niskanen, Annina Rajahuhta, Karoliina Rantamäki, Saila Saari, Tiina Saarimaki, Susanna Tapani, Nina Tikkinen, Anne Tuomanen, Minnamari Tuominen.
Article Credit: Hockey Canada