TOMAKOMAI, Japan – Jennifer Gardiner (Surrey, B.C./Greater Vancouver, BCFMAAA) scored two goals to lead Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to a 4-0 win over Russia on Thursday in its final pre-tournament game before the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Mahika Sarrazin (Gatineau, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) and Raygan Kirk (Ste. Ann, Man./Eastman, MFMHL) combined to stop all 19 shots they faced; Sarrazin got the start and made nine saves in 30 minutes of work, while Kirk made 10 saves the rest of the way.
Danielle Serdachny (Edmonton, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) and Grace Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SFMAAAHL) also had two-point performances. Serdachny finished with a goal and an assist, while Shirley chipped in two helpers.
Canada got the scoring started early when Anne Cherkowski (Vernon, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) found the back of the net just 47 seconds in, and Serdachny stretched the lead to two on a power-play goal midway through the opening frame.
Gardiner added a man-advantage marker with one second left in the second period and added one at five-on-five early in the third for the Canadians, who outshot Russia 39-19.
Preliminary-round play at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship begins Saturday with Canada opening the tournament against Sweden in Obihiro, Japan (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT).