Women's hockey goalPhoto: Vincent Ethier/COC
Photo: Vincent Ethier/COC

Team Canada begins women’s hockey tournament with shutout win

Team Canada’s women’s ice hockey team is off to a strong start at PyeongChang 2018.

Rebecca Johnston led the way with two goals and an assist as Canada defeated the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) 5-0 in preliminary round action on Sunday at Kwandong Hockey Centre. Melodie Daoust also scored twice while Haley Irwin added a solo marker. Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped all 18 shots she faced to earn the shutout win.

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Sarah Nurse PyeongChang 2018

Canada’s Sarah Nurse fights for a loose puck against the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Feb. 11, 2018 at Kwandong Hockey Centre. (Photo: Vincent Ethier/COC)

Canada wasted no time applying offensive pressure with Marie-Philip Poulin and Meghan Agosta generating a couple quality chances in the first two minutes of the game. Despite some strong play by the Canadians throughout the first period, OAR goaltender Nadezhda Morozova stopped all 15 shots she faced, keeping the game scoreless.

Canada opened the scoring 1:55 into the second period. Brianne Jenner was behind the net and was able to slide the puck through some skates and to an open Johnston in the slot. Johnston fired a low wrist shot past Morozova to give the Canadians a 1-0 advantage.

2:18 later and with Canada on a power play, the puck squirted out from along the boards to an open Johnston near the point. Johnston fired a hard wrist shot that was nicely redirected by Irwin, giving Canada a 2-0 lead.

OAR had some spurts of offensive pressure throughout the middle frame, but that didn’t stop Canada from taking a 3-0 lead with 4:02 remaining in the period. Agosta fired a cross crease pass to Daoust who scored her first of the Games.

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Marie-Philip Poulin PyeongChang 2018

Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin moves the puck forward against the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Feb. 11, 2018 at Kwandong Hockey Centre. (Photo: Vincent Ethier/COC)

Canada took a 4-0 lead 8:41 into the third period. On a power play, Brigette Lacquette was in the high slot and sent the puck down low to Johnston who was parked on the goal line. Johnston ripped a perfect shot top shelf and over Morozova to extend Canada’s lead.

Daoust made it 5-0 shortly after, pushing the puck across the line after it had stalled in the crease from a Poulin backhander. That would end Morozova’s day in net – and make the game a 5-0 final.

Team Canada – looking for their fifth straight women’s ice hockey Olympic gold medal – will be back in action at PyeongChang 2018 on Tuesday against Finland.