IIHF Womens World Hockey Championships – Day 5: Canada Dominates Russia But With A Cost
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
CANADA 5 – RUSSIA 1 FINAL
ESPOO, FINLAND – Natalie Spooner showed the world once again just how skilled of a hockey player she is. She led a stellar all-round performance from Team Canada with a hattrick against a Russian team that simply couldn’t compete.
Spooner opened the scoring with a deflection goal off a point shot from Bridgette Lacquette just 12 seconds into a powerplay for her 50th career National Team goal. This was already the third penalty taken by the Russian squad just under 14 minutes into the game.
Canada opened the 2nd with two quick goals from Rebecca Johnston and Blayre Turnbull that chased Russian goalie Anna Prugova from the net after just over 26 minutes of ice time.
Now up 3-0, Canada went back on the powerplay and Spooner went back to work, scooping up a ricochet off the back boards and stuffing a wraparound passed Nadezhda Morozova. Just 4 minutes later, Spooner again jumped on a loose puck behind the net and tucked it behind Morozova on a second wraparound to complete the hattrick and finish the first period.
Liana Ganeyeva got the Russians on the board early in the 3rd period when her point shot deflected off Jocelyne Larocque and in passed Genevieve Lacasse, but that was basically the only scoring chance the Russians had all game.
With just 8 shots on net and none in the 2nd period, Russia really didn’t have much offence.
Brianne Jenner and Bridgette Lacquette assisted on two of Spooner’s goals to tally 2 points each, while Loren Gabel had several chances to get on the scoresheet again but, couldn’t find the twine on one of her team-high 9 shots.
It was a more disciplined game for Canada with just 2 penalty calls but, the Russian goal was scored on the penalty to Jenner. That drops their penalty kill to 83%, which is, granted, still 4th in the tournament.
With her hattrick performance, Spooner now leads Team Canada with 6 points while Jenner sits 2nd with 5 points.
Despite the big win, Canada may have lost their Captain once again. Marie-Philip Poulin started the game on the ice for the first time since late February for the CWHL’s Les Canadiennes de Montreal but, was taken hard into the boards midway through the 1st period. She was seen limping to the dressing room, favouring her previously injured leg and did not return to the game. Further updates on Poulin’s condition to come.
Canada is the last team to play on back-to-back days but, finally has their test Tuesday against the host Finland in the last game of round robin play.