Puck women thump Swiss

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — It had to happen one of these games.

The dominant Canadian women’s hockey team, a favourite to repeat as the Olympic champions, allowed its first goal of the tournament Monday with 14 seconds left in the second period of its eventual 10-1 win over Switzerland.

Swiss forward Darcia Leimgruber spoiled the shutout attempt by Shannon Szabados and sent the teams into the second intermission with Canada leading 5-1 at Thunderbird Arena.

“They battled hard and got some good shots on net, they got a few quality scoring chances,” Szabados said.

The goal offered Switzerland its lone moment of relief during the game. Switzerland’s only consolation was that it had a better result than Slovakia, who fell 18-0 to Canada in Saturday’s opener.

Gillian Apps of Unionville, Ont. opened the scoring with a power play goal in the seventh minute. Megan Agosta of Windsor, Ont. led Canada with consecutive goals less than two minutes apart midway through the second period. Caroline Ouellette of Montreal registered assists on both markers.

Jayna Hefford of Toronto got the third period underway with a shorthanded goal assisted by Calgary’s Hayley Wickenheiser. It turned into Canada’s most productive period with five goals by five players, including Wickenheiser.

Canada outshot Switzerland 62-12 but was a surprising one-for-five on the power play.

“They’re a tough team, they’re together all year,” said shell-shocked Swiss goaltender Florence Schelling. “Once a month we have two camps together, they’re two games each.”

Schelling, a 20-year-old student at Northeastern University in Boston, let in all 10 goals on 55 shots faced. Dominique Slongo made seven saves in relief during the final eight minutes.

“She definitely battled real hard and made great saves at key times,” Agosta said.

Schelling said it was hard for the Swiss defence to remain solid because of the sustained Canadian attack.

“Physically, we’re not there,” she said.

Canada has its first legitimate test of the Games Wednesday when it ends the round-robin in a rematch of the Turin gold -medal game against Sweden.

POLL