VELKE POPOVICE, Czech Republic – Brette Pettet (Kentville, N.S./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) completed the comeback 2:34 into overtime, giving Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team a 4-3 win over HC Slovaj Velke Popovice in pre-tournament action Tuesday ahead of the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
The Canadians trailed 3-1 with less than nine minutes to go before pulling even and forcing the extra period.
Just moments after goaltender Édith D’Astous-Moreau (Laval, Que./Nepean, PWHL) stopped a penalty shot to keep her team alive, Pettet finished a set-up from Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) to give Canada the win in its first of two exhibition games.
Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) had two goals for the Canadians, including the game-tying marker with just 38 seconds remaining, and Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) also found the back of the net.
Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) and Emma Maltais (Burlington, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) added two assists apiece.
After a scoreless opening period, the Czech boys team struck early in the second when Jan Synac beat Canadian goaltender Danika Ranger (Uxbridge, Ont./Durham, PWHL) just 77 seconds in.
But that would be the lone puck to find its way past Ranger, who gave way to D’Astous-Moreau just past the midway mark of the middle frame.
Shirley tied the game on the power play at 9:19, picking up a rebound off the end boards and sneaking it past netminder Matyas Nesvadba, but Lukas Vit beat D’Astous-Moreau on a breakaway at 12:45, and Synac added his second of the period at 18:57 to send HC Slovaj Velke Popovice to the intermission up 3-1.
Fillier got the Canadian comeback started at 11:18 of the third period, setting up a wild finish.
With Canada on the power play and D’Astous-Moreau on the bench for a six-on-four advantage in the final minute, Shirley found the rebound of a Maltais shot and chipped it over David Hruska for the 3-3 goal, pushing the game to overtime.
Canada will finish its pre-tournament schedule Thursday, facing off with Sweden in Zlin (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT), before opening the world championship Saturday against the Swedes (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT).
“It was a big moment for us and I think just growing together as a team, coming back in the third period and getting that extra goal to win it in overtime was huge for our team coming together before worlds.”
– Shirley on Canada’s come-from-behind victory
“We played a hard three-on-three at the end, and Amy Potomak was able to get it all the way down the ice and I just kind of stuck my stick in front of the net and she was able to find it to put it in. It was pretty exciting and I think we had a good game tonight.”
– Pettet on her overtime winner
“This was a really good experience for our team because we got to play in a lot of different situations; five-on-five, six-on-four, three-on-three, and four-on-three. This game also gave us an opportunity to iron out some of the kinks, see what we have, and learn.”
– Assistant coach Delaney Collins (Pilot Mound, Man.) on Canada’s play in its exhibition game