LEKSAND, Sweden – Canada remained unbeaten at the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament Thursday with a 6-3 victory over the United States.
Canada scored three times before the midway point of the opening period and put the game away with three more goals in the second frame.
“One of the things we wanted was a quick start and they did it,” said head coach Peter Smith. “They did a good job, they got out real quick and had lots of energy.”
Jennifer Botterill of Winnipeg, Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., and Gillian Apps of Unionville, Ont., scored within a span of 5:12 in the first period as Canada improved to 2-0.
Helen Resor got the U.S. on the board with 34 seconds left in the period when she beat goalie Sami Jo Small of Winnipeg, who made 32 saves.
Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., restored the three-goal cushion early in the second period. The Americans pulled goaltender Jessie Vetter after Colleen Sostorics of Kennedy, Sask., made it 5-1 a few minutes later. Gina Kingsbury of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., rounded out the Canadian scoring.
“It makes us awfully hard to stop when the offence is going from all four lines,” Smith said. “It’s a real bonus when that happens.”
Natalie Darwitz and Erika Lawler scored in the third period for the Americans.
Sostorics – playing in her 100th career game for the national women’s team – was one of five Canadians to finish with a goal and an assist.
After a slow start in a 4-1 victory over Finland in the round-robin opener a day earlier, Sostorics said the Canadians wanted to put the pressure on early.
“One of our goals for this game was to come out hard and really buzz them in the first period and I think we accomplished that,” she said. “Everyone just seemed to be moving their legs really well.”
The Americans, who opened with a 4-0 win over host Sweden, outshot Canada 35-31. Finland defeated Sweden 3-0 later Thursday.
Canada, who has won the event four of the last five years, defeated the U.S. in last year’s final in Kitchener, Ont.
Canada will play its final round-robin game against Sweden on Saturday. The medal games will be played Sunday.