SAUVE HELPS CANADIANS SHUT OUT CZECHS; WILDFANG SCORES TWICE
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Team captain Lauren Wildfang (Waterdown, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) scored twice, including her first international goal, to lead Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic in world championship action Wednesday afternoon.
Kassidy Sauvé (Brooklin, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) also scored a first in Canada's final preliminary game. The netminder made 23 saves en route to her first international shutout, putting her team into Saturday's semifinals.
“It’s a great feeling,” Sauvé said of her first Team Canada shut out. “But to be honest, I couldn’t have done that without the team in front of me. They played great; they were very strong defensively throughout the whole game.”
Canada had to stay strong early, as the Czechs managed 12 shots in the first period, while not allowing a goal during the first 20 minutes.
The first of five red and white goals didn’t come until 11:42 into the second period, when Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) cracked the scoreboard on a helper from Breanne Wilson-Bennett (Markham, Ont./Toronto, PWHL).
Wildfang followed up just over a minute later, with assists from Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) and Hannah Miller (Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL), to make it 2-0 going into the second intermission.
“The team (had) been working really hard all game, and we knew that we needed to stay focused,” the offensive blue-liner said. “My first goal came from a beautiful pass from my linemate, Rebecca Leslie, and she couldn’t have made a more perfect pass to me, and it found the back of the net.”
Canada kept up its momentum in the third as Stéphanie Lalancette (St-Félicien, Que./Limoilou, Que.) added another at 4:06, Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) scored a power play marker at 8:16 and Wildfang capped it off at 17:05 to help give her country the victory that ensures advancement at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
“The second one, I got another beautiful pass from my D-partner Ainsley MacMillan, and I had a great line standing in front of the goalie to block her eyes,” Wildfang said. “We’re proud of our accomplishment tonight … Now we have to get refocused for what’s to come.”
What’s to come is a semifinal Saturday, against the winner of the Russia-Finland quarter-final.