VIERUMÄKI, Finland – Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont./Hockey Canada), Bailey Bram (St. Anne, Man./Calgary, CWHL), Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL) scored as Canada’s National Women’s Team topped Finland 4-1 in pre-4 Nations Cup play on Sunday.
Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Calgary, CWHL) and Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) split time in net in the win.
Canada got the early jump in this one. Only 4:38 into the first period, Agosta knocked in a rebound down low to put the home team on its heels.
Finland responded midway through the period. With Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./McGill University, RSEQ) off for slashing, the Finns needed only 12 seconds to take advantage of the extra skater. A point shot from Noora Tulus was stopped by Maschmeyer, but Jenni Hiirikoski scored on the rebound.
Canada retook a lead it wouldn’t relinquish 13:26 into the second period.
Bram created a turnover in the Finnish zone, then went five-hole for the unassisted goal.
An early third period marker gave Canada some breathing room.
Fortino took a pass from Daoust, walked through a slew of Finnish players through the slot and cleanly beat Noora Räty to make it 3-1.
Finland took its chances to draw closer. With Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Boston, CWHL) sitting for slashing, Finland pulled Räty with five minutes remaining in the third. Canada, however, escaped the extended six-on-four unscathed.
With only 1:33 left in regulation, Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) got sent off for tripping and once again Finland pulled its goaltender for a two-man advantage.
This time, though, off a turnover in the neutral zone, Poulin shot from just over the blue line for a shorthanded empty-net goal.
Canada outshot Finland 23-17 overall.
Sunday’s game was Canada’s only pre-competition contest; it faces Finland once again on Tuesday on the opening day of the 2016 4 Nations Cup. Canada then meets Sweden on Nov. 2 and the United States on Nov. 4. The medal games will be played on Nov. 5.
Canada took silver last year. It’s won the gold medal 14 times in 20 tournaments, overall, mostly recently in 2014.
Canada’s National Women’s Team opens the 4 Nations Cup against Finland on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. MT. Live stream information can be found by clicking here.
“It’s always an honour getting to this level and being named captain but all the girls are great leaders on this team and they all come from teams where they were captains and it’s a great team to have to work with.”
– Poulin on being named captain of Team Canada at the 4 Nations Cup for the second year in a row
“It was a fun game, I think the excitement of wearing the new jersey brought a lot of energy to the room. It was a good first game and we were excited to be on the ice all together, we still have a lot of work to get done but it was a good start.”
– Poulin on Canada’s exhibition play and wearing the new Team Canada jersey for the first time
“It was a good first game for us, I think we did a lot of little things well. Finland always plays a hard game against us and I think moving forward that was a great game that will help us identify the areas where we need to continue to get better, but for the most part I was really happy with our effort.”
– Head coach Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./Dartmouth, ECAC) on Canada’s opening performance
“I think we did great today for our first game, [we were] pretty gelled and pretty quick as the game went on. Playing Finland is always a tough match-up, they never give up and they’re a great team and I think we played pretty composed, did pretty well, and I’m pretty happy with our performance.”
– Fortino on Canada facing Finland in its exhibition game