Canada shells Swiss

Team Canada forward Katie Weatherston celebrates her goal against Team Switzerland at the Women's...

Team Canada forward Katie Weatherston celebrates her goal against Team Switzerland at the Women's World Championship in Winnipeg on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Jason Halstead)

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Danielle Goyette had three goals and an assist, Hayley Wickenheiser had a goal and three assists, and Canada outshot Switzerland 63-17.

Yet the player of the game was, without a doubt, wearing a Switzerland jersey.

Canada opened the World Women's Hockey Championship last night with a 9-0 thrashing of Switzerland in front of 10,706 spectators at MTS Centre, but the score would have been even more lopsided had it not been for Swiss netminder Florence Schelling.

The 18-year-old made several spectacular stops among the 54 she finished with, but none was more sensational than a first-period save in which she stuck out her right leg and absolutely robbed a Canadian player on a cross-crease play.

The replay drew the night's loudest oohs and ahhs from the crowd.

"She played tremendously well," Canada forward and Winnipegger Jennifer Botterill said. "We did have quite a few other point-blank scoring chances where she honestly came up huge."

The Canadians fired a whopping 31 shots at Schelling in the first period and got five of them past her, but they went almost 21 minutes without denting the twine after that.

Caroline Ouellette, on the power play, and Kelly Bechard scored 29 seconds apart in the final minute of the second period to give Canada a 7-0 edge after 40 minutes.

Schelling allowed a couple of weak ones in the third period, including Goyette's hat-trick tally and Katie Weatherston's second of the night, but she was still outstanding.

"Our goal was to (allow) less than 10 goals," said Schelling, who had never played in front of a crowd as large as last night's. "That's what we got, so I'm proud of our team."

Jayna Hefford had the other goal for Canada, which meets Germany tomorrow night at MTS Centre in its second and final preliminary round game.

The Swiss are now 0-3 against Canada in the 10-year history of the women's worlds, and they have been outscored 25-0.

Wickenheiser recorded the 250th point of her illustrious career last night -- "I guess I'll try for 300 now," she said -- but she is more concerned about a more balanced effort from her team against the Germans tomorrow.

"We had some ups and downs throughout the game, and when the tempo isn't what you're used to, you've got to bring it from within your own team," Wickenheiser said. "So next game we've gotta do a better job of just keeping the intensity shift after shift."

The closest the Swiss came to beating Canadian netminder Charline Labonte was when Laura Ruhnke's shot sneaked through the goalie and trickled toward the net, but it didn't have enough gas to get over the goal-line.


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