The Canadian women’s hockey team opened its 4 Nations Cup tournament in style with a 6-1 win over Sweden Tuesday at Sasktel Centre.
It took a little bit longer than expected for the Canadians to treat the home crowd, scoring it’s first goal on a shorthanded effort from Laura Stacey nearly nine minutes into the game.
“After a while, we handled the trap fairly well, and as we did that, we put more pressure on them in their end,” Team Canada head coach Perry Pearn said of the Swedish defensive scheme that attempted to bottle up Canada at the game’s outset.
“I think it’s a challenge in a game like this, you really don’t know what to expect — it’s the first game of the tournament.”
Canada was able to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, thanks to goals from Sarah Nurse and Sarah Fillier, which was Filliers first goal in her international debut for the senior team.
Canada’s top line of Rebecca Johnstone, Marie-Philip Poulin and Mélodie Daoust took over in the third period.
With their team nursing a 4-0 lead, the trio accounted for all of Canada’s third period points, including a nifty goal from Daoust as she faked a wraparound attempt and neatly tucked the puck inside the near post.
Even with two goals on the night, Daoust wasn’t completely satisfied.
“We did play well, but we do still have things to tighten up,” she said. “Especially in our d-zone, we need to be more honest with ourselves.”
“I think that’s going to come throughout the tournament as we go and learn to play together.”
Sweden scored on a deflection at the end of the game to cap the scoring.
Canada’s Rebecca Johnstone paced all scorers with four assists. Poulin had a goal and two assists, while defender Renata Fast had two assists.
In Tuesday’s matinee game, it was USA topping Finland 5-1. That result sets up a matchup between the two juggernauts of women’s hockey as Canada and USA will faceoff Wednesday for the first time since Canada fell to USA 3-2 in a shootout loss for a silver medal at the PyeongChang Games.