CANADA SKATES TO DRAW WITH BUFFALOES
JASON LA ROSE
CALGARY, Alta. - Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE) scored and Ann-Renee Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) made 35 saves, helping Canada's National Women's Team to an entertaining 1-1 tie with the Calgary Buffaloes as the Esso Series continued Friday night.
Goaltending stole the show, with Desbiens and Calgary counterpart Berk Berkeliev combining for 57 stops while allowing just a pair of second-period goals.
The first period was a tale of two halves; after Canada outshot the Buffaloes 7-3 in the opening 10 minutes, the AMHL side held a 9-2 advantage the rest of the way as the game reached the first intermission scoreless.
Calgary needed just over three minutes of the second period to get the scoring started. Drae Gardiner found Cameron Sterling in front, and he quickly pulled the puck to his backhand and beat Desbiens for the 1-0 goal.
Wakefield equalized seven minutes later; Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./Calgary, CWHL) did the work to get the puck to the net, and Wakefield had a couple of whacks at the top of the crease before knocking the 1-1 goal past Berkeliev.
Desbiens was the story of the third, turning aside all 12 shots she faced in the final frame as the Buffaloes swarmed for the go-ahead goal. Calgary carried the play for long stretches, including close to three minutes of constant offensive-zone presence at one point.
The Road to PyeongChang continues Sunday (2:30 p.m. MT) for Team Canada as it takes on the Edge School in exhibition action at Canada Olympic Park.