GAME NOTES: Canada vs. Finland (August 20)
TV: TSN | TSN Direct
Let the games begin at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship!
Canada’s National Women’s Team opens its preliminary-round schedule against Finland, 860 days after the
most recent women’s worlds came to a close.
A long and winding road that included a pair of COVID-caused cancellations
in 2020 and earlier this year comes to an end when the puck drops at
WinSport Arena, giving the best players in the world their turn in the
international hockey spotlight.
The Canadians and Finns faced off in pre-tournament action on Wednesday
Canada earning a 4-1 victory. But the contest was much closer than the three-goal spread indicates.
Finland opened the scoring off the stick of Sofianna Sundelin six minutes
in, and Canada gifted its Nordic nemesis 11 opportunities on the power
play, all of which came up empty. Natalie Spooner tied it for the Canadians
late in the first period and Emily Clark got the winner midway through the
third before Marie-Philip Poulin and Emma Maltais found the empty net for
shorthanded goals in the dying minutes.
We just talked about it!
WHAT TO WATCH
If the Canadians want to be the last team standing on Aug. 31, they need to
stay out of the penalty box. Canada paraded to the penalty box 11 times
against the Finns, including four minors in the first period and a major in
the third, and back-to-back late calls that gave Finland a 6-on-3 advantage
in a one-goal game with less than three minutes to go. The penalty kill was
terrific, keeping the Finns goalless, but as the old saying goes – if you
keep playing with fire, you’re going to get burned.
Noora Räty didn’t make the trip across the Atlantic, but Anni Keisala and
Meeri Räisänen acquitted themselves just fine in the Finnish goal on
Wednesday night, combining for 41 saves in the pre-tournament loss. Whoever
gets the start in the opener will need to be just as good once again to
give the Finns a chance.
A LOOK BACK
The Finns have been frequent foes for Canada – only the U.S. has stood
across the ice more often. The 81-game history belongs to the Canadians;
they won 70 of the first 71 meetings, with only a 6-6 tie in 1999
interrupting that run. Finland finally broke through at the 2017 women’s
a 4-3 prelim win, but Canada got its revenge in
a 4-0 semifinal triumph.
Jayna Hefford owns the single-game scoring record for Canada, posting seven
points – a hat trick and four assists – in an 8-1 win over the Finns at the
2006 4 Nations Cup. Caroline Ouellette added three goals and three helpers
of her own in that one; those are two of just 10 six-point efforts in Team
All-time record: Canada leads 78-2-1
Canada goals: 412
Finland goals: 103