CANADA BLANKS RUSSIA AT WORLDS

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    Jennifer Wakefield scored twice in a four-goal first period, Shannon Szabados earned the shutout and Canada beat Russia 8-0 on Monday for its first win at women’s worlds. © Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

    PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE) scored twice in a four-goal first period, and Canada’s National Women’s Team got into the win column Monday at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship with an 8-0 victory over Russia.

    The win leaves the Canadians at 1-2 in preliminary-round play, but they will advance directly to the semifinals if the United States beats Finland in regulation time in the round-robin finale on Monday night.

    Wakefield added an assist for a three-point afternoon, while Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) and Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./University of Minnesota, WCHA) had a goal and a helper apiece.

    After an end-to-end opening few minutes, Canada took control in the latter half of the first period.

    Wakefield got it started at 14:30, wiring a shot through the legs of a Russia defender and through a perfect screen by Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) to put the Canadians ahead for good.

    Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) made it 2-0 57 seconds later, finding a loose puck off the face-off and tucking her shot past goaltender Maria Sorokina, and Wakefield added her second 78 seconds after that, beating Sorokina to a rebound at the side of the net to push the lead to 3-0.

    Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) capped the scoring spree at 18:37, redirecting in a shot from Potomak; in all, the Canadians scored four goals in four minutes and seven seconds.

    Canada clicked again on the power play midway through the second period when Ambrose patiently carried the puck to the face-off dot to the left of Sorokina before snapping in her first national team goal.

    Canadian netminder Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Fort Saskatchewan, CHL) was at her best in the second period, making seven of her 16 saves, including a couple of point-blank stops that kept the Russians off the scoreboard.

    Jenner made it 6-0 on another Canadian power play just shy of the five-minute mark of the third period, taking a quick pass from Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) and going five-hole on Sorokina.

    That would be all for the Russian puck-stopper, who turned away 29 of the 35 shots she faced.

    Agosta welcomed Nadezhda Alexandrova to the game with the 7-0 goal less than two minutes after the goaltending change, scoring through traffic in front, and Potomak got her first with the national team on a rebound with 41 seconds left to finish the scoring.

    Canada finished with a one-sided 41-16 advantage in shots on goal.

    Quotes:

     

    “Yesterday was important for us to take a deep breath, it was a game of hockey that we lost and we weren’t out of the tournament so we had to show up today. We had to win and we had to do it in the right way which was being committed to the gameplan and really making sure that we played a complete game.”

    –      Alternate captain Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) on how the team regrouped for Monday’s game

     

    “I was just super excited and happy to be able to get that first one; it’s a really special feeling and it’s an honour to be able to score for your country. It was a really cool feeling for me.”

    –      Potomak on netting her first international goal with Team Canada

     

    “We talked about the importance of scoring goals the right way and sticking to the game plan and I thought we did a good job of that today. Our leadership group was outstanding, they really took the lead and talked about how this was an opportunity to define ourselves. I was so proud of them for stepping up and making sure that there was more that we could give, that our buy-in is one-hundred percent and needs to be there; whenever you have leaders like that talking people listen.”

    –      Head coach Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./Dartmouth, ECAC) on Canada’s play and how it refocused after a slow tournament start

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