ERZURUM, Turkey (CIS) - University of Western Ontario forward Ellie Seedhouse of Whitby, Ont., scored the lone goal in the shootout session to give defending champion Canada a 2-1 win over Finland in its opening game of the Winter Universiade women's hockey tournament at Cemal Gursel Arena, on Thursday.
IIHF game summary: http://www.erzurum2011.gov.tr/pdfts/IHW400A03/C74
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter
2011 Winter Universiade website: http://www.erzurum2011.gov.tr/english
Canada, which defeated the host Chinese 3-1 in the gold-medal final of the first-ever World University Games women's hockey tourney in 2009 in Harbin, China, is tied atop the standings with Great Britain and Slovakia following the first day of round-robin action in Erzurum.
Earlier on Thursday, Great Britain dominated host Turkey 10-0 while Slovakia easily defeated the USA by 6-1. All six countries entered in the competition will face each other in the preliminary round with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.
The Canadians got all they could handle from Finland, a team they had blanked 5-0 in round-robin play in 2009 but which went on to claim the bronze medal.
Trailing 1-0 with under two minutes remaining in regulation after a short-handed, second-period goal by Venla Hovi, Canada finally tied things up at the 58:31 mark on an unassisted power-play goal by Université de Moncton forward Mariève Provost of Laval, Que.
Following a scoreless five-minute overtime period, Canadian goaltender Liz Knox stopped all five Finnish skaters in the shootout. Her counterpart Anna Vanhatalo stoned the first four red-and-white shooters before Seedhouse sent the Canadian bench into a frenzy with her game-winner.
Knox of Stouffville, Ont., the 2009-10 CIS player of the year from Wilfrid Laurier, had blocked seven of eight shots in regulation and OT. After making five saves in the opening frame, she was tested only once in each of the next three periods.
Vanhatalo finished with 17 saves, including 10 in the first stanza.
Canada took advantage of only one of nine power play opportunities but was perfect in five penalty kill situations.
"Our play wasn't as polished as we'd like it to be. Obviously we haven't been together as a group for very long," said Canadian head coach Les Lawton, the long-time bench boss at Concordia University. "Hopefully we can get better with every game. I think we're a lot better than what we showed today."
Team captain Andrea Ironside, a rearguard from Wilfrid Laurier and one of six returnees from the 2009 championship squad, agreed with her coach.
"Finland came out really strong, we have to give them credit. We faced some adversity, I think mostly because we haven't spent a lot of time together. But having said that, we showed a lot of character battling back and scoring a big goal late in the third. It's something we can build off of moving forward."
Canada (1-0) resumes round-robin play Friday at 7 p.m. local time (noon ET) against Slovakia (1-0).
Canada 2, Finland 1 (shootout)
Kelsey Webster (CAN) hooking, 7:22;
Team (FIN) too many players, 9:40;
Erin Lally (CAN) slashing, 10:02;
Krista Rahunen (FIN) body checking, 13:45;
Essi Hallvar (FIN) tripping, 15:08;
Mariève Provost (CAN) tripping, 16:30;
Addie Miles (CAN) hooking, 20:00.
1. FIN Venla Hovi (1) (Annina Rajahuhta), 25:09 SH
Team (FIN) holding opponent, 3:43;
Jutta Stoltenberg (FIN) holding, 5:47;
Anne Tuomanen (FIN) 10:58, roughing;
Team (FIN) delay of game, 17:22.
2. CAN Mariève Provost (unassisted), 58:31 PP
Mari Alina Ahvensalmi (FIN) interference, 1:44;
Andrea Boras (CAN) holding, 7:10;
Krista Rahunen (FIN) tripping, 17:42.
OVERTIME (5 minutes)
1. CAN Jessica Zerafa: saved
2. FIN Sari Karna: missed
3. CAN Ann-Sophie Bettez: saved
4. FIN Saara Tuominen: saved
5. CAN Courtney Unruh: missed
6. FIN Anne Helin: saved
7. FIN Sari Karna: saved
8. CAN Mariève Provost: saved
9. FIN Anne Helin: saved
10. CAN Ellie Seedhouse: GOAL
GOALS (by period)
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
CAN: 10-4-3-1: 18
CAN - Liz Knox (W, 1-0, 8 shots, 7 saves, 1 GA, 65:00)
FIN - Anna Vanhatalo (L, 0-1, 18 shots, 17 saves, 1 GA, 65:00)
REFEREE: Karen Philippo (BEL)
LINESMEN: Jessica Hahnle (USA), Michaela Kudelova (SVK)
PRELIMINARY ROUND STANDINGS (each team plays 5 games)
GP W L GF GA PTS
1. Great Britain1 1 0 10 0 2
2. Slovakia 1 1 0 5 1 2
3. Canada 1 1 0 2 1 2
4. Finland 1 0 1 1 2 0
5. USA 1 0 1 1 5 0
6. Turkey 1 0 1 0 10 0
TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE & RESULTS (local time)
Thursday, Jan. 27: Canada 2, Finland 1 (1-0 in shootout)
Friday, Jan. 28, 19:00: Canada vs. Slovakia
Sunday, Jan. 30, 11:00: Canada vs. Great Britain
Monday, Jan. 31, 11:00: Canada vs. USA
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 20:00: Canada vs. Turkey
Friday, Feb. 4, 16:00: Semifinal #1 (3 vs. 2)
Friday, Feb. 4, 20:00: Semifinal #2 (4 vs. 1)
Saturday, Feb. 5, 9:30: Bronze
Saturday, Feb. 5, 13:00: Final
For more information contact:
Ari Grossman (on site in Turkey)
2011 Winter Universiade
Cell (in Turkey): 011-90-537-704-91-13
agrossman [at] wlu.ca
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Off: (613) 562-5670 ext. 25
Cell: (613) 447-6334
belanger [at] universitysport.ca