Canada overcame an early deficit against a determined Finland squad to roll to a 5-1 victory in a Four Nations Cup exhibition game, retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
After Finland’s historic win over Canada at the World Championships last spring, Susana Tapani’s opening goal 5:30 into the first period surely struck a nerve to Team Canada, who may have suspected that another upset was in the works (although the stakes were obviously far less important here). However, Laura Stacey was able to equalize for Canada almost exactly ten minutes later, putting the game at a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes, with Finland actually outshooting Canada 6-5.
The game unraveled for the Naisleijonat in the second, as Canada found their offensive legs and struck with two early tallies from Natalie Spooner and Brianne Jenner. Haley Irwin put the game at 4-1 with a power play tally, with Brigette Lacquette notching the final goal midway through the third. The game saw some heavy physical play throughout, with two tilts broken up, and a total of eleven penalties dispatched. Ann-Renée Desbiens and Geneviève Lacasse split the victory for Canada, while Noora Räty stopped 20 of 25 in the loss.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 33rd title, which they won on October 25 from Team USA in an exhibition tuneup in Boston. Canada now improves to 46-0-1 against Finland all-time over the IHLC, and is their first IHLC matchup since the 2014 Four Nations Cup in Kamloops. The victory ensures that Canada will start the 2017 Four Nations Cup with the IHLC in hand, opening the tournament in 48 hours against Sweden.
05:30 – GOAL – Tapani (Hakala)
08:39 – PEN – team, too many players
15:18 – GOAL – Stacey (Nurse)
16:24 – PEN – Poulin, roughing
16:24 – PEN – Välimäki, body checking
20:35 – GOAL – Spooner (Daoust, Poulin)
24:04 – PEN – S. Potomak, interference
24:54 – PEN – Nieminen, body checking
27:11 – GOAL – Jenner
30:27 – PEN – Välimäki, tripping
31:24 – PP GOAL – Irwin (Wakefield)
31:53 – PEN – A. Potomak, roughing
31:53 – PEN – Savolainen, roughing
38:04 – PEN – Irwin, slashing
39:37 – PEN – Nieminen, interference
43:19 – PEN – Rahunen, interference
51:56 – GOAL – Lacquette (Wakefield)
W: Lacasse (7-8), Desbiens (8-8)
L: Räty (20-25)
SHOTS ON GOAL
5+12+18 = 25
6+5+5 = 16
Goaltenders: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Geneviève Lacasse. Defence: Renata Fast, Micah Hart, Halli Krzyzaniak, Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne Larocque (A), Meaghan Mikkelson. Forwards: Bailey Bram, Mélodie Daoust, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner (A), Sarah Nurse, Amy Potomak, Sarah Potomak, Marie-Philip Poulin (C), Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey, Blayre Turnbull, Jennifer Wakefield.
Goaltenders: Noora Räty, Eveliina Suonpää. Defence: Jenni Hiirikoski (C), Mira Jalosuo, Anna Kilponen, Isa Rahunen, Ronja Savolainen, Ella Viitasuo. Forwards: Venla Hovi, Sari Kärnä, Michelle Karvinen (A), Petra Nieminen, Tanja Niskanen, Emma Nuutinen, Annina Rajahuhta, Saila Saari, Sara Säkkinen, Susanna Tapani, Riikka Välilä (A), Linda Välimäki.