Canada's women set hockey record

Romp of Slovakia most lop-sided win in Olympic women's hockey history

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Canada celebrates Rebecca Johntson's first period goal against Slovakia at the Vancouver Olympics on Saturday, Feb 13, 2010. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

VANCOUVER ó Maybe itís just karma, huh?

Slovakia once beat Bulgaria 82-0 in a womenís pre-qualifying tournament in 2008.

Now the Slovaks are on the other side of it, though not nearly as bad as that.

Canada beat them 18-0 Saturday night, the most lop-sided victory in Olympic womenís hockey since it became part of the program in 1998.

Canada set the record when veteran Jayna Hefford scored her third goal of the game to make it 17-0 at 11:03 of the third period. That broke the old mark set four years ago in Turin when Canada beat Italy 16-0, not that itís anything of which to be particularly proud.

Canada outshot Slovakia 67-9 on the night with Kim St. Pierre getting one of the easiest shutouts of her life in the Canadian net.

The huge disparity between the top teams of Canada and the USA and most of the rest of the field is one of the reasons a lot of people having trouble taking the womenís tournament seriously and wondering why itís in the Olympics in the first place.

Itís certainly not the Canadian womenís fault. As long as goal differential is going to be one of the tie-breaking methods in the tournament, teams are going to run up the score.

ďSlovakia didnít give up and thatís what the Olympics is about,Ē said Hefford. ďAt the end of the day, the score is the score. You see some scores like that on the menís side, too. Itís important for the game to grow and if you want it to grow in other countries, itís important for them to be here.Ē

Slovak goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova actually kept her team in it against the powerhouse Canadians, if only for the first 90 seconds.

Every skater on Team Canada but defenceman Meaghan Mikkelson got at least a point with Hefford, of Kingston, Ont., and Meghan Agosta, of Ruthven, Ont., leading the way with three goals apiece. Hefford also added three assists for a six point night and had 11 shots on goal.

Canada plays its second of three preliminary round games Monday afternoon against Switzerland.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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