ST. PÖLTEN, Austria – Ivana Bilic (Coquitlam, B.C./Bemidji State University, WCHA) and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./McGill University, RSEQ) scored and Canada’s National Women’s Development Team limited the Czech Republic to only five shots on net to finish with a perfect pre-tournament record ahead of the 2016 Nations Cup with a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Shannon MacAulay (Mount Herbert, P.E.I./Clarkson University, ECAC), Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Dartmouth College, ECAC), Katelyn Gosling (London, Ont./University of Western Ontario, OUA) and Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) each contributed an assist in the winning effort.
Goaltender Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont./University of Connecticut, HE) picked up her second pre-competition win.
A power play opportunity 6:22 into the game allowed Canada to assert itself early. With just 14 seconds remaining on the man-advantage, defenceman Bilic converted passes from Stacey and MacAulay for a 1-0 lead.
The team doubled its lead 4:56 into the second period, with Rattray and Gosling setting up Daoust. It was the captain’s team-leading third goal in pre-competition play.
Both teams played a discipline game, with Canada being called for only three minors (one a delay-of-game call) and the Czech Republic whistled for only four penalties (one a too-many-men call). The Canadians finished one for four with the man-advantage; the Czechs failed to convert on their three power play opportunities.
Canada outshot the Czech Republic 27-5. Klara Peslarova made 25 saves in taking the loss.
The win wrapped up a dominant three-game run by the Canadians. They defeated the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary by a combined 15-2, outshooting their opponents 120-20.
Canada now travels to Füssen, Germany, to open defence of its Nations Cup gold medal. The six-team event runs Jan. 4-7. Canada opens group play against Sweden on Monday before facing Russia on Tuesday. Canada owns 10 gold medals from the Nations Cup.