ALSO ON SLAM!
Tuesday, April 4, 2000
Canada gets going in a hurry
Blue line kickstarts opening win
The defence won't rest for Canada in the 2000 women's world hockey championship.
Canada's defence turned offensive last night, providing the first three goals in a 9-0 win over Japan at Mississauga's Hershey Centre.
The official attendance was announced at 610.
Cheryl Pounder opened the scoring 61 seconds into the game -- the fastest opening tally by Canada in the tournament's six editions -- and Becky Keller, named Canada's player of the game, added two more goals before the first 10 minutes had elapsed.
Jennifer Botterill and Hayley Wickenheiser added second-period scores, while Tammy Lee Shewchuk, Jayna Hefford, Cassie Campbell and Lori Dupuis added goals in the third.
"For the most part, that is somewhat of a fluke the defence contributing as much as the forwards," Keller said. "The last couple of games, the defence has been getting a lot of opportunities. I think that's good.
"If they can use us, all the better."
Canada's rookie head coach Mel Davidson was happy with the team's overall offensive contribution, noting it received goals from all four forward lines.
"If somebody happens to have an off-night, we're pretty confident we'll be able to have some offence," Davidson said.
Canada outshot Japan 59-12, including 27-4 in the third.
The outcome should not have been any surprise. This is only the second time for Japan in the tournament. It participated in the inaugural event in 1990, losing 16-1 to the Canadians.
Although Japan played in the '98 Olympics -- only because it was the host nation -- it lacked the mettle to earn a medal.
Masaka Sato, who plays for Laval of the National Women's Hockey League, earned player-of-the-game honours for Japan.
"Obviously, there's a huge gap between the two teams," Sato said through an interpreter.
"The last three goals I guess the intensity wasn't there. That's something this team has to learn."
Japanese goalie Risa Hayashi, who played the first two periods, kept her team in the game after Canada outshot Japan 13-4 after the first period.
Tomoko Fujimoto took over in the third and made some decent saves, considering the Japanese had wilted by then.
Canadian goalkeepers Sami Jo Small and Kim St-Pierre split the game evenly as part of a designed plan by Davidson.