Canada beat Finland 2-0 with the second goal scored in the last few minutes of play into the empty net by Jayna Hefford. Finnish goaltender Noora Raty was the first star of the game stopping 49 shots compared to 14 shots vs. Canada’s Shannon Szabados. Here is Caroline Ouellette’s comments on the game.
(Photo is Nathalie Spooner, Tara Watchhorn and Bobbie Jo Slusar who are world championship rookies-see explanation at bottom of blog)
During the Game
We were not sure what to expect from the Finns as they had lost to Switzerland the day before, we thought they might come very hard at us in their fore-check. They chose to keep a very disciplined approach keeping 4 players above the puck at all times and trying to capitalize on our turnovers.
First period had lots of penalties. Yes it was a different first period. At some point we played 3 vs3 for almost 2 minutes which is extremely rare in hockey. It is tough to adjust to dealing with that because we only got 2-3 shifts 5-5.
Q. Ryan Walters, your coach called a time out in second when score still 1-0 for Canada. What did he say ?
CO: Ryan said we had to be patient and stick to the game plan. We do not want to reinvent our systems but execute them well. It could have been easy to feel frustration but we had to give the Finns credit because they were not giving us much room and many odd man rushes. We wanted to go back to a simpler game with more shots on net while having players crashing for rebounds.
We have often faced them where they remained very disciplined defensively in their systems. I would say that tonight was one of the games were they executed the best their defensive game plan.
I would say that Rebecca Johnson’s goal was amazing and truly a great effort and a beautiful shot.
What does Canada have to do to beat Finnish goaltender Noora Raty in future?
We have to put more pucks on net to create rebounds. She did a great job not allowing many so we have to choose wisely where we shoot so we have chances to beat her on our 2nd shots. We also have to do a better job screening her so she cannot track the puck.
After the Game
Our coach told us he was proud of the effort from everyone. Our third period was probably our best period with several good scoring chances. We also did not give them many scoring chances.
I learned that patience is a virtue (smiley face inserted here). Tonight’s game was not really about transition hockey but felt more like a chess game where we had to try to catch them on very few mistakes.
Comments on Teammates
Amazing unselfish play by Meghan Agosta to feed Jayna Hefford on the empty net goal.
1st world championship win for Shannon Szabados!
Our three World Championship rookies: Nathalie Spooner, Tara Watchorn and Bobbi Jo Slusar got the traditional whip cream plate in theirs beautiful faces which was simulated on a TSN interview! Cannot wait to see the footage!
Watch our rookies getting pied at: