JASON LA ROSE
(ISN) – ST. PÖLTEN, Austria – Meghan Dufault (Winnipeg, Man./University of North Dakota, WCHA) scored twice and added an assist to pace the offence and help Canada’s National Women’s Development Team blank Hungary 6-0 on Tuesday in its first of three pre-tournament games ahead of the 2015 Nations Cup.
Sarah Nurse (Paradise, N.L./Calgary, CWHL) and Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Dartmouth College, ECAC) added a goal and a helper apiece, and Catherine Dubois (Charlesbourg, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) and Sarah Lefort (Ormstown, Que./Boston University, HE) also scored.
Erica Howe (Orleans, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) needed to make just seven saves to record the shutout.
The Canadians wasted no time getting on the board, with Dufault beat Hungarian netminder Aniko Nemeth just 4:02 in for what would be the game-winning goal.
Nurse doubled the advantage at 13:05, and Dufault and Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) set up Stacey 2:52 after that to give Canada a commanding 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Dufault needed only 70 seconds of the second period to make it 4-0 on a Canadian power play, and Dubois pushed the lead to five at 5:34. Canada had plenty of other opportunities to add to its advantage in the middle frame, outshooting Hungary 13-1, but Nemeth kept the Canadian offence at bay.
Lefort capped the scoring in the third period.
Canada is on the ice again Wednesday at the Klenk Dome, home of the Okanagan Hockey Academy Europe, to face Austria (7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT), before travelling to Füssen, Germany to take on the Germans on Friday in its pre-tournament finale (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).
The 2015 Nations Cup begins Saturday in Füssen, with Canada opening against Finland (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).