SZABADOS STARS AS CANADA WINS RIVALRY SERIES
JASON LA ROSE
DETROIT, Mich. – Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Buffalo, NWHL) made 38 saves in a spectacular shutout performance, and Canada’s National Women’s Team blanked the United States 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to win the Rivalry Series.
The Canadians earned back-to-back victories to take the three-game set; they posted a 4-3 win Thursday in Toronto after a 1-0 loss in the series opener Tuesday in London, Ont.
Szabados was at her best in the second period when the Americans peppered her with 21 shots. It is the 18th career clean-sheet for the Canadian netminder, second all-time behind Kim St-Pierre (29).
Special teams were the story in the opening period; the teams combined for six minor penalties, three each.
Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) made good on the second Canadian man advantage, hammering a shot from the top of the circle through a Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) screen and past U.S. goaltender Alex Rigsby.
Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./Calgary, CWHL) doubled the lead early in the second period, driving to the net and redirecting a perfect feed from Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Markham, CWHL) past the outstretched glove of Rigsby.
Both teams came inches away from goals in the third; Jenner ripped a slap shot that hit both posts behind Rigsby, and the Americans found iron twice in the final five minutes in their push to beat Szabados.
The U.S. finished with a 38-17 edge in shots on goal.
Next up is the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Espoo, Finland; Canada opens preliminary-round play April 4 against Switzerland, and takes on the Americans on April 6.