GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Katelyn Gosling, a fourth-year defenceman for the Western Mustangs, recorded four assists to lead Team Canada to a decisive 7-1 victory over Kazakhstan during the first women's hockey game of the 2015 Winter Universiade at the Mulhacen Pavilion in Granada, Spain, on Wednesday.
Seven different players found the back of the net for Canada in the first-ever Universiade game between the two teams, and the Canucks have now earned a berth into a semi-final. The Canadians currently sit atop the Pool B standings with a 1-0 record, but with only two games within the pool before the medal round begins, the three-time defending champs have already guaranteed themselves a semi-final appearance.
Morgan McHaffie (Guelph, Ont,), Bree Polci (London, Ont.), Jessica Fickel (Fort Erie, Ont.), Ariane Barker (Napierville, Que.), Daley Odd (Cranbrook, B.C.), Breanna Lanceleve (Lower Sackville, N.S.) and Brittney Fouracres (Calgary, Alta) all bulged the twine for the Red and White, while team captain Laura Brooker (Fergus, Ont.) finished with a pair of assists.
"We came into this game looking for the 'W', and we played the way we needed to in order to get it," stated Brooker, who is a fifth-year forward for the defending OUA champion Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks. "It was good to finally get out there and compete, shake the rust off and start developing chemistry. Practice is one thing, but there is only so much you can do in a practice, so we needed this game tonight, we needed to play well, and we did and we got the win."
"Yeah, I felt good out there tonight, but I can't take too much credit because I'm not the one putting the puck into the back of the net," said London, Ont.'s Gosling, who was selected for the 2013 Canadian Universiade team but was unable to play. "I was happy to play a part in some of our scoring tonight, but it really was a team effort, and my teammates deserve just as much credit."
Team Canada outshot Kazakhstan 58-10 in the contest, including 19-2 in the third period. Canadian goalies Nicole Kesteris (Aurora, Ont.) of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Elodie Sirois-Rousseau (Pohenegamook, Que.) of the Montreal Carabins split the game, but Kesteris started and earned the win after stopping all eight shots she faced in 30:16 of game time.
McHaffie, a forward from the Queen's Golden Gaels, opened the scoring for Canada when she beat Kazakhstan goaltender Aizhan Raushanova at the 2:44 mark of the first period. Polci, from the Windsor Lancers, and Fickel, of the Brock Badgers, gave Canada a 3-0 lead heading into the second period.
The only goal of the second period was scored by Montreal's Barker, and then Kazakhstan broke Canada's shut-out bid early in the third period when Meruyert Ryspek beat Sirois-Rousseau just 50 seconds into the final frame. Canada, however, would score three more times as Oddy, from the St.FX X-Women, Lanceleve, of the Saint Mary's Huskies, and Fouracres, a defenceman from the McGill Martlets and member of Canada's national development team, all found the back of the net to send Canada to the opening-game win.
"This team is really built from the back end out," said Canadian and Manitoba Bisons head coach Jon Rempel. "It starts with our excellent goaltending, and continues with our great defencemen. We've got a lot of really great skaters and puck-movers in our back end and that was on display tonight. Gosling is a pretty high level player, and it showed tonight. That was a big difference for us tonight. I think we really wore Kazakhstan down as the game went on, because we moved the puck so well, so we were always on the attack."
Canada will close out pool play with a game against Russia on Sunday, February 8 at 8:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. EST)
NOTES: Canada has captured gold at all three FISU tournaments since women's hockey was added to the Winter Universiade program in 2009, going 21-0 overall in the process... In gold medal finals, the Canadians defeated China 3-1 (2009), Finland 4-1 (2011) and Russia 5-0 (2013)... Four members of the 2015 team return from the 2013 championship squad, including goaltender Élodie Rousseau-Sirois from the University of Montreal, defenceman Brittney Fouracres from McGill, as well as forwards Laura Brooker from Wilfrid Laurier and Alex Normore from StFX.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)
Wednesday, Feb. 4 (20:30): Canada 7, Kazakhstan 1
Sunday, Feb. 8 (20:30): Canada vs. Russia
Wednesday, Feb. 11 (TBD): Semi-finals
Thursday, Feb. 12 (17:00): Bronze (www.fisu.tv)
Thursday, Feb. 12 (20:30): Final (www.fisu.tv)
Canada 7, Kazakhstan 1
1. CAN Morgan McHaffie (1) (Daley Oddy), 2:44
2. CAN Bree Polci (1) (Katelyn Gosling), 7:54
3. CAN Jessica Fickel (1) (Laura Brooker, Sarah Casorso), 12:29
Bree Polci (CAN) hooking, 18:45.
4. CAN Ariane Barker (1) (Katelyn Gosling, Laura Brooker) 37:00
Meruyert Ryspek (KAZ) slashing, 29:03;
Azhar Khamimuldinova (KAZ) illegal hit, 37:38.
5. KAZ Meruyert Ryspek (1) (Alena Fux), 40:50
6. CAN Daley Oddy (1) (Katelyn Gosling, Maggie Medd-Litchfield), 45:47 PP
7. CAN Breanna Lanceleve (1) (Katelyn Gosling, Bree Polci), 49:33
8. CAN Brittney Fouraces (1), 54:57
Zarina Tukhtiyeva (KAZ) holding, 45:40;
Morgan McHaffie (CAN) slashing, 58:48.
GOALS (by period)
CAN: 3-1-3: 7
KAZ: 0-0-1: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
CAN: 19-17-19: 55
KAZ: 4-4-2: 10
CAN – Nicole Kesteris (W, 1-0, 8 shots, 8 saves, 30:16)
CAN – Elodie Sirois-Rousseau (2 shots, 1 save, 29:44)
KAZ – Aizhan Raushanova (L, 0-1, 55 shots, 48 saves, 60:00)
REFEREE: Elise Harbitz-Rasmussen (NOR)
LINESMEN: Marine Dinant (BEL), Caroline Sauer (GER)
GP W OTW OTL L GF GA PTS
1. ESP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. CHN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. JPN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. CAN 1 1 0 0 0 7 1 3
2. RUS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3. KAZ 1 0 0 0 1 1 7 0
3 points for a win in regulation
2 points for a win in overtime or shootout
1 point for a loss in overtime or shootout
Legend: W (win), OTW (OT win), OTL (OT loss), L (loss)