BACH SCORES TWICE TO LEAD CANADA TO WIN OVER JAPAN IN U18 WORLDS OPENER
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./Mississauga, Ont.) has helped set a strong pace for Canada at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. The feisty forward scored her team’s first goal of the tournament early in the first, and added a shorthanded marker late in the second, to lead Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to a 7-1 win over Japan in preliminary round action Sunday evening.
“I got a nice stretch pass from Fanger (Lauren Wildfang) up the ice, and I ended up going down and shooting it five-hole,” Bach said of notching her first of the game just over eight minutes after the opening puck drop at the Budapest Ice Center.
Despite a pretty play created by Wildfang (Waterdown, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) and blueliner Ainsley MacMillan (Ilderton, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL), Japan caught the Canadians off guard by answering back just 33 seconds later, with Suzaka Taka tying it up at 1-1. But that would be the only goal Canada would allow in front of family members who travelled overseas to fill the stands, and proudly wore red and white of all sorts as they cheered on our under-18 women, most who were playing their first world championship game.
Ève-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que./St-Laurent, CEGEP) scored the tie-breaker at 12:54 in the first frame Sunday, while Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) added another with the power play before the period was done to make it 3-1 going into the intermission.
Samantha Cogan (Ottawa, Ont./Nepean, PWHL), who made her debut in a Team Canada jersey in pre-competition action, scored her first international goal at 5:36 of the second period, while Bach scored her second of the game less than a minute later, to make it 5-1 for Canada after 40 minutes of play.
“I got a nice pass from Potomak, and ended up doing a backhander and scoring,” Bach said of her fancy stick work in front of the Japanese net.
Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) and Miller both scored on third period power plays to cap the scoring. Canadian netminder Kassidy Sauvé (Brooklin, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) made 22 saves for her first world championship win.
“It (was) a good feeling coming back into the room after the game and knowing that everyone gave it their all,” Sauvé said after the game. “The whole team was ready to go and everyone was fired up.”
Bach said it’s important to “focus on the little details” heading into the rest of this year’s world championship, taking place through March 30 in Budapest.
“I thought it was overall a really good game,” she said. “Our whole team played awesome.”
Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team takes on Finland in its second preliminary game at worlds Monday, March 24 with the puck dropping at 3 p.m. local time/10 a.m. ET.