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 faces off next against Sweden on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 12:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. MT. Live stream information can be found by clicking here.
“It’s a great feeling, obviously, as a goalie you love getting the shutout. But it’s about the team and if there’s a goal that goes in, so be it; we keep going and keep moving forward, but the shutout feels great, it always does.”
– Maschmeyer on her fourth shutout between the pipes with Canada’s National Women’s Team
“[I was] definitely a little bit emotional before the game putting on the jersey, it was exciting and fun to be a part of. I thought we played good, we got better as the game went on and we adjusted well which is always a good sign. We finished hard which is important this early in the tournament.”
– Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) on returning to the ice for Team Canada and its play in the opening game of the tournament against Finland
“We need to continue to work on our offensive zone play and get more pucks to the net. We possess the puck so well but we’re still not shooting as much as we should be. We need to create that space to get our shots off and have the courage to shoot which will definitely be a focus for us going into tomorrow’s game against Sweden.”
– Head coach Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./Dartmouth, ECAC) on what Canada needs to focus on moving forward into the tournament