SUNDSVALL, Sweden – Goals from Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./Calgary, CWHL) less than two minutes apart late in the second period proved to be the difference Sunday, as Canada’s National Women’s Team defeated Sweden 3-1 in pre-tournament action ahead of the 2015 4 Nations Cup.
Turnbull finished with two goals. Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linkoping HC) had two assists for Canada.
Erica Howe (Orleans, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) made 11 saves in the win.
After dominating through 38 minutes of play but finding itself only even 1-1 on the scoreboard, Canada took control of the game in a span of 1:56. With her team enjoying its fourth power play,
Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Hockey Canada) carried the puck behind the net and passed out front to Fortino, who had poached in from the blue-line to score on a one-timer from the slot.
Turnbull made it 3-1, when after some strong forechecking by Sarah Edney (Mississauga, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Wakefield behind the Swedish net, she was able to one-time a pass top shelf.
Canada continued to dictate play in the third, but couldn’t find the back of the net again. The Canadians outshot the Swedes 39-12 for the game.
It had been all Canada from the early going. A tripping minor on Sweden only 25 seconds into the game allowed Canada to take control of the offensive zone, a place it continued to stay even after the power play expired. Only the strong goaltending of Minatsu Murase kept Canada off the board early.
Murase’s team responded on its first sustained foray into the Canadian zone. Hanna Olsson carried the puck around two Canadian defenders and, from the low slot, flipped a backhand high into the net.
That lead held up until early in the second period, when Canada was finally rewarded for its dominant play. Seconds after falling to convert on its third power play opportunity of the game, Turnbull spun and, while falling, shot from the slot, beating the Swedish goalie low far side.
Murase finished with 36 saves for Sweden.
The 2015 4 Nations Cup gets underway on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Canada, the two-time defending gold medallists, opens against Finland.