CANADA DROPS OPENER AT NATIONS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
FÜSSEN, Germany - Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont,/Boston University, HE) and Loren Gabel (Kitchener, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) scored 25 seconds apart to erase a two-goal deficit, but a last-minute goal left Canada's National Women's Development Team with a 3-2 loss to Finland in the first game for both Wednesday at the 2018 Nations Cup.
The game was a rematch of the 2017 gold medal game, won 1-0 by the Finns.
Susanna Tapani had the lone goal of the first period for Finland despite a trio of power plays in the opening frame for the Canadians, including 44 seconds at five-on-three.
Petra Nieminen doubled the advantage for the Scandinavians just 1:12 into the second period, beating Canadian goaltender Marlène Boissonnault (Dundee, N.B./Cornell University, ECAC), before Canada struck quickly to tie the game.
Bach was first at 7:51, assisted by Kaitlin Tse (Toronto, Ont./Harvard University, ECAC) and Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.), and Ève-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que./University of Vermont, HE) and Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C./St. Lawrence University, ECAC) set up Gabel only seconds later to make it 2-2.
That was it for offence until the dying seconds of the third period; with overtime looming, Riikka Välilä converted on the Finns' fifth power-play opportunity at 19:12 to give the defending champions the first points in Group B.
Canada finishes up the preliminary round on Thursday (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT), taking on Russia.