Kazakhs in over heads

ADAM WAZNY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

SELKIRK -- First, Angela Ruggiero scored on a long shot from the point. Teammate Krissy Wendell then got into the act, burying her breakaway chance 25 seconds later.

Erika Lawler scored a power play marker, followed by another long score from another defenceman, this one off the stick of Caitlin Cahow. Sarah Parsons then took advantage of a goaltender misplay, closing out an impressive beginning for the defending world champions.

And 21 minutes after the opening face-off, Kazakhstan registered its first real shot on the U.S. goal. In the second period.

"We talked about coming out, establishing things and getting off to a good start," U.S. coach Mark Johnson said after his club pummeled Kazakhstan 9-0 in the opening game of Group A action in the World Women's Hockey Championship at the Selkirk Recreational Complex last night. "Hopefully (our team) will take some things away from this game that will increase their confidence level and they'll continue to progress."

Parsons scored twice for the U.S., who come into the worlds as the No. 2 ranked team on the planet. Gigi Marvin, Jenny Potter, and Jinelle Zaugg also scored for the Americans. For Zaugg, it was her first international goal.

Seventeen-year-old Yekaterina Rhyzhova got the start for Kazakhstan but only lasted 12:34 in to the first period. She was lifted for Darya Obydennov, 16, who didn't fare much better against the speed and quickness of the American forwards. She did receive the loudest ovation from the estimated 1,350 in attendance, though, making two point-blank saves in the final minute of the game.

"It's our first game against the U.S. -- ever," Kazakhstan team leader and coach Sergey Solovyev said through a translator. "Our No. 1 concern was to allow the least number of goals as possible."

Jessie Vetter took the net for the U.S. Her quiet night consisted of 14 shots, with only a few of the threatening variety.

The U.S. fired 44 pucks at the Kazakhstan net.

NOTES: The Kazakhs were actually given two shots in the first period but both were just errant pucks deflected off skates which slowly dribbled towards Vetter...Forward Krissy Wendell, who had four points, is the captain for the Americans ... Olga Potapova was wearing the 'C' for Kazakhstan...The U.S. takes a break today, while China takes on Kazakhstan today (7:30 p.m.) in Selkirk.


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