Quebec’s Marie-Philip Poulin gave her country the lead late in the first period by helping Canada beat Finland 4-1 in a women’s hockey World Cup preliminary round match in Herning, Denmark on Thursday.
Despite multiple penalties, the Maple Leaf players got off to a good start in the tournament, even if their rivals proved tough early on. However, Canadian dominance was felt more strongly later on, particularly in the second period where the winners had the upper hand in terms of shots, 19 to 4.
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Poulin once again showed her talent by scoring a tie with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. Earlier, the number 29 had received an eighth-minute assist from Sarah Nurse in the net. For her part, Meaghan Mikkelson widened the gap in middle engagement after a turnaround in opposing defence. Blayre Turnbull confirmed Canada’s win by throwing the disc into an empty net late in the game.
“There are always things we can do better, be more careful in the details of our game,” Mikkelson told the IIHF website. But I think it looks like the first game of the tournament and we know Finland are tough opponents and we won.”
Goalkeeper Ann-Renée Desbiens, author of 16 saves, seemed weak on Julia Liikala’s goal and conceded a poor return which the striker pushed into the net. However, she redeemed herself by frustrating Kiira Yrjanen with a penalty, with less than two seconds remaining in the first period.
In the Indiscipline category, Nurse stood out with his three visits to the dungeon. Meanwhile, Petra Nieminen embarrassed Finland by being sent off for a first-half shot against Kristin O’Neill.
In a lost cause, Anni Keisala saved 39 pucks.
Head coach Troy Ryan’s skaters may face less competition this weekend. They meet Switzerland on Saturday and Japan the next day before meeting the Americans on Tuesday.
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