Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, ON) scored with 3:53 remaining in the third period, giving Team Canada Black
a tight 2-1 win over Japan in the opening game at the National Women’s Under-19 Program Evaluation Camp in
Calgary on Thursday afternoon.
Spooner went to the net and converted a rebound off a shot by Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, QC),
giving her team the win in a game that was much closer than the shots on goal indicated.
Canada Black finished with 37 shots to Japan’s 17, including 26-12 over the opening 20 minutes. Nana
Fujimoto was the star for the team from the Far East, not allowing a goal until the nine-minute mark of the
second period and keeping her team within striking distance.
Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, SK) got the Canadians on the board first just before the midway point of the
middle frame, gathering in a rebound in front of Fujimoto and flipping a backhand past the sprawling Japanese
goaltender. Jacquie Colborne (Calgary, AB) and Saleah Morrison (Selkirk, MB) picked up the assists on the
tournament’s opening goal.
Japan finally gave their goaltender some offence late in the period, as a point shot from Tomoko Sakagami
eluded Canada Black goaltender Delayne Brian (Winnipeg, MB), knotting the game at 1-1.
After a back-and-forth third period that featured chances for both teams, Spooner’s goal avoided overtime
and clinched the win for her team, getting them off to a 1-0 start ahead of Friday night’s game with Canada
Brian turned aside seven of the eight shots she faced, while Alexandra Garcia (Pointe Claire, QC) stopped
nine of the shots against her in the opening period-and-a-half.
Japan returns to the ice at Father David Bauer Arena on Friday afternoon when they take on Canada