CANADA HOLDS ON FOR WIN OVER AAA FLAMES
JASON LA ROSE
CALGARY, Alta. – Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL) and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) had a goal and an assist apiece, and Canada’s National Women’s Team survived a late push to edge the Calgary AAA Flames 3-2 in Esso Series action Wednesday night.
Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Man./Calgary, CWHL) had the other goal for the Canadians, who improved to 8-4-3 in Alberta Midget Hockey League games as part of their preparations for PyeongChang.
Both teams came flying out of the gate, with just a single whistle in the first eight minutes, but it was the Canadians who found the scoreboard first.
Coming out of the Team Canada zone, Nurse took a pass from Rougeau and found open space all the way to the net before going five-hole on Flames goaltender Brett Balas to make it a 1-0 game.
A pair of quick-strike goals early in the second period put Canada in control.
Rougeau was first, snapping a quick shot past Balas just 66 seconds after the puck dropped, and Bram knocked in the 3-0 goal only 1:58 after that.
The Flames’ comeback started midway through the middle frame when Connor Brock capitalized on the power play, cutting the Canadian lead to two goals through 40 minutes.
It was down to one when Keegan Fraser tucked a shot past Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) at 7:37 of the third period, but that would be as close as the Flames would get – a last-minute penalty and Balas on the bench made for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Lacasse shut the door in the dying seconds to preserve the win.
Canada is right back to action Friday night at Canada Olympic Park, taking on the Calgary Buffaloes (7 p.m. MT).