IIHF Womens World Hockey Championships – Day 6
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Canada Takes Down Host Finland, USA Destroys Russia, Japan Sends Sweden To Relegation, Czech Republic Blanks Germany
ESPOO, FINLAND – The rookies continue to excel for Canada. 21-year-old Loren Gabel put up her first multi-point performance for the National team with a pair of goals and an assist to get Canada rolling in another dominant performance.
Gabel opened the scoring by tipping a shot from linemate Ann-Sophie Bettez passed Finnish goalie Noora Raty just after the midway mark of the 1st period. Then, later in the 2nd, she sniped on Raty after accepting a brilliant back-hand feed from Bettez for her second assist to extend Canada’s lead to 3-0.
3 minutes later, Gabel broke into the Finnish zone on a quick give-and-go with Brianne Jenner, who finished it off for Canada’s 4th goal in a row. Gabel’s breakout performance rockets her to 3rd in points and 2nd in goals for Team Canada.
A scary moment for Team Finland just before Gabel’s second goal, however. Goaltender Raty was moving left when the puck fluttered passed her right side off a deflection. In attempt to make a save, Raty extended her right leg, grimaced, and was slow to get back to her feet. The puck missed wide, but after Gabel’s goal, Raty was pulled for precautionary reasons as Finnish Head Coach Pasi Mustonen appears to be looking ahead to a semi-final matchup back with Canada.
Eveliina Suonpaa replaced Raty between the pipes and Canada scored 3 more goals, including Jenner’s 4-0 marker.
Finland got a bit of life back early in the 3rd when Ella Viitasuo floated a long point-shot through traffic and passed netminder Shannon Szabados. The Fins started to capitalize on a bit of sloppy Canadian play, but that was quashed with a strong penalty kill off a weak offensive performance by Finland and another Canadian goal came soon after.
Sarah Nurse picked up a loose puck poked ahead by Natalie Spooner and stung the left corner of the net to restore the 4-goal lead with just over half a period left to play. That ultimately put the game out of reach.
Canada dominated possession once again, outshooting Finland 49-23. Erin Ambrose had a team-high 6 shots on net and capped it off with the 6-1 goal off a great pass in front from Jamie Lee Rattray, and an assist.
Rebecca Johnston got the other goal for Canada, while Renata Fast had a pair of assists.
Marie-Philip Poulin did not dress for this game, so Jenner wore the C in her stead. It’s likely Poulin won’t see the ice again in this tournament after re-aggravating her lower body injury early in Monday’s game against Russia.
Gabel was named player of the game for Team Canada, while Petra Nieminen got the honour for Finland.
Canada finishes Round Robin play in 2nd place in Group A at 3-0-1 and will play Germany Thursday April 11th in the Quarterfinals at 9AM Eastern. Finland takes on the undefeated Czech Republic from Group B.
USA 10 – RUSSIA 0
American Captain Kendall Coyne-Schofield and Lee Stecklein each had a pair of goals, while Annie Pankowski had 3 assists in an absolute dismantling of team Russia. Only 2 Americans went without a point, while 5 players had at least 2.
Stecklein was named player of the game for Team USA, while Russia’s Yelena Dergachyova got her team’s award.
USA outshot Russia 44-12 and is now the highest-scroing team in the tournament with 27 goals for in Round Robin. They finish undefeated and 1st in Group A and will play Japan in the Quarterfinals. Russia will face Switzerland.
JAPAN 3 – SWEDEN 2
Ayaka Toko scored on the powerplay with just over a minute left to play in regulation to give Japan a 3-2 win over Sweden. The Japanese found themselves down 2-1 early in the 3rd after Swedish leading scorer Sofia Engstrom potted her second of the tournament.
Japanese goalie Nana Fujimoto was awarded Japan’s player of the game, while Nylen Persson was for Sweden.
Japan sends Sweden to the relegation round for the first time in Sweden’s hockey program history, where they will battle France to remain in the top division of IIHF Women’s Hockey.
CZECH REPUBLIC 2 – GERMANY 0
Two quick 2nd period goals was all it took for the Czechs to remain undefeated in Group B. Alena Mills scored both of them exactly 2 minutes apart, the first one coming on the powerplay.
This penalty-filled affair was pretty one-sided in favour of the Czechs, who had 37 shots on net to Germany’s 10.
Mills was obviously named player of the game for the Czech Republic, while German goalie Ivonne Schroder was given her country’s award.