Four Nations Cup-Women's Hockey
Canada 5 Finland 0
Vicki Bendus of Wasaga Beach scored Canada's second goal in the game
Canada plays the U.S. this morning in their second game at the tournament
NYKÖPING, Sweden - Canada used a balanced offensive attack to defeat Finland 5-0 in Wednesday's opening game at the 2011 4 Nations Cup women's hockey tournament.
Five different players scored for the defending champions in the preliminary round matchup at Stora Hallen arena.
“I think it speaks to the depth that we have on our team,” said head coach Dan Church. “Almost every player on our team is a goal scorer with their club team. It's good to see different people chipping in.”
Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont.) gave Canada the early lead by scoring just 46 seconds into the game. Vicki Bendus (Wasaga Beach, Ont.) added a power play goal later in the period and Jesse Scanzano (Montreal, Que.) made it 3-0 a few minutes later.
Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.) and Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ont.) added insurance goals in the second. Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta.) turned aside 15 shots for the shutout, while Isabella Portnoj made 49 saves for Finland.
Canada will play the world champion Americans on Thursday before concluding the preliminary round Saturday against host Sweden. The medal games are Sunday.
Veteran forward Gillian Apps (Unionville, Ont.) said her teammates are excited to take on their long-time rivals.
“Whether it's at a 4 Nations Cup, an exhibition game or the world championship, it's always a good game between Canada and the U.S.,” Apps said. “It's why we play. It's an absolutely amazing game to be a part of.”
Canada improved its all-time record against Finland to 53-0-1 with the victory.
Finland has narrowed the gap between the two countries over the last few years. Canada edged Finland 3-2 in their last meeting in August.
Canada has won 12 gold and three silver medals in 4 Nations and 3 Nations Cup events since the first tournament was played in 1996