CANADA GOES FOR GOLD AT NATIONS CUP

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FÜSSEN, Germany – Erica Howe (Orleans, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) was perfect to record an 11-save shutout, and Canada’s National Women’s Development Team beat Germany 5-0 on Friday to win its group and advance to the gold medal game at the 2017 Nations Cup.

The Canadians will face Finland in the final on Saturday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT) in search of their fourth-consecutive gold medal at the annual tournament.

Sarah Lefort (Ormstown, Que./Montreal, CWHL) led the way with two goals, and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) had a goal and an assist for Canada, which avenged a 3-2 pre-tournament loss to the Germans.

Jade Downie-Landry (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que./McGill University, RSEQ) and Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./University of Minnesota, WCHA) had the other goals.

Jaime Bourbonnais (Mississauga, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) picked up three assists, while Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./Boston University, HE), Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) had two helpers apiece.

After a pair of early power plays – including a 41-second five-on-three – came up empty, Lefort finished off a feed from Bach to give Canada a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.

The duo hooked up again early in the second period, with Lefort netting her second of the game to make it 2-0 at 1:24, and Downie-Landry pushed the lead to 3-0 just shy of the 13-minute mark of the middle frame.

The Canadians capped the scoring with goals in quick succession the third; Agnew scored from Bourbonnais at 6:36, and Nurse added another to make it 5-0 just 40 seconds later.

Canada overwhelmed Germany on the shot clock, holding a one-sided 53-11 advantage, helped in large part by seven power plays, although the Canadians went without a goal while a player up.

Quotes:

 

“I think we came out with good intentions, we were ready to play them again and we knew full well what they brought to the table. Moving forward we just need to focus on our game, our strengths and we know what we have to bring tomorrow to be successful.”

–      Lefort, who was named player of the game, on looking ahead to the gold-medal game

 

“Today the girls came out with energy and pushed the pace and because of that they were rewarded on the scoreboard. Tomorrow will be a difficult battle against Finland and we will need to be at our best from the drop of the puck.”

–      Head coach Noémie Marin (Acton Vale, Que./John Abbott College, CEGEP) on what pushed Canada to success

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