GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. FINLAND (AUGUST 25)
TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
The reigning Olympic and world champions,
Canada’s National Women’s Team
drops the puck on a new season on Thursday, opening up the 2022 IIHF
Women’s World Championship against Finland in Herning.
Canada closed out a set of pre-tournament games against the United States
beating its cross-border 3-1 ahead of women’s worlds.
The U.S. held the Canadians off the board in the first, but it was all
Canada after that. Blayre Turnbull’s unassisted score tied the game and
women’s worlds rookie Jessie Eldridge netted the game-winner on a power
play halfway through the period – her third goal in two exhibition games.
Sarah Fillier capped the scoring in the third for Canada, which got a
combined 19 saves from Ann-Renée Desbiens and Kristen Campbell.
The Finns closed out their pre-tournament schedule on Sunday,
blanking host Denmark 8-0
in Rødovre. Vivi Vainikka paced the offence with a hat trick and an assist,
while Elisa Holopainen contributed a goal and three helpers. Anni Keisala
earned the shutout in the Finnish goal, making nine saves.
The Canadians and Finns met in the preliminary round at the 2022 Olympic
Winter Games, with
Canada earning an 11-1 win
on its way to gold in Beijing. Brianne Jenner and Sarah Nurse did the
damage up front, scoring a hat trick each, while Natalie Spooner had four
assists and Marie-Philip Poulin added three helpers. In total, 16 of the 19
Canadian skaters recorded points.
WHAT TO WATCH
The 2022 women’s worlds will be the ninth for lockdown defender Jocelyne
Larocque. While the Canadians are known for their offensive exploits (they
scored 34 times in seven games at the 2021 worlds and had 54 in seven at
the Olympics), Larocque – who made her 150th international appearance
during the pre-tournament – has been a force in the defensive zone; last
summer in Calgary, she finished +11 and chipped in with four assists as
Canada ended a 10-year gold medal drought.
To beat the scoring machine that is Canada, one has to be strong between
the pipes, which Finland certainly is. Keisala was a rock between the pipes
as the Finns won bronze at the 2021 worlds, earning Top Goaltender honours
and a place on the tournament all-star team after fashioning a .949 save
percentage and 1.43 goals-against average. In Beijing, she played all but
two periods as Finland claimed another bronze medal, posting a .915 save
percentage and a tournament-best two shutouts.
A LOOK BACK
Canada has just a pair of losses and a tie in 86 all-time meetings with the
Finns, but the Nordic nation is always a tough matchup.
There have been plenty of impressive individual performances against
Finland over the years, but two stand out. When the teams met at
the 2006 4 Nations Cup in Kitchener, Ont., Jayna Hefford had a hat trick and four assists and Caroline Ouellette
added a hat trick and three helpers to help Canada to an 8-1 win. Hefford’s
seven points remain a single-game Team Canada record.
All-time record: Canada leads 83-2-1
Canada goals: 445
Finland goals: 110