CANADA FALLS TO U.S. IN SHOOTOUT IN WORLDS OPENER
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) tied the game midway through the third period, but Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team fell 2-1 in a shootout to the United States in its opening game Monday at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
It’s the first time Canada has lost a preliminary round game at the world championship, although this is the first year the format has been changed to have the top four teams from the previous year play in the same round-robin group.
After five minutes of overtime couldn’t break a 1-1 tie, the teams headed to a shootout; Canadian forwards Ryleigh Houston (Winnipeg, Man./Balmoral High School, JWHL) and Élizabeth Giguère (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) missed their attempts, while Jincy Dunne and Abby Roque made good on their chances to give the host Americans the victory.
The U.S. got the pro-American crowd at HarborCenter into it early when Grace Bizal’s quick shot from in front of the net beat Canadian goaltender Marlène Boissonnault (Dundee, N.B./Rothesay Netherwood School, CAHS) for a 1-0 lead just 5:06 in.
That would be the lone goal of the first two periods, and Canada managed just eight shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes before coming alive in the third.
The Canadians pressured right from the puck drop to start the final frame, but couldn’t find a way past American goaltender Kaitlin Burt, who wasn’t busy early but was good when she had to be.
Minutes after going awkwardly into the boards – leading to an unsuccessful Canadian power play – Potomak pulled the Canadians even with 10:59 to go, off a set-up from Houston and Kristin O’Neill (Oakville, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL).
Canada had plenty of advantages to go ahead in the dying minutes of the third but couldn’t convert as Burt turned away seven of eight shots in the final period.
The U.S. outshot Canada 20-16.
The Canadians are right back to action on Tuesday, taking on Russia in their second of three preliminary round games; puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.