For the first time in a decade, Canada is golden in hockey at the FISU World University Games. Completing a run of absolute dominance, Canada topped Japan 5-0 on Satirday, January 21st in Lake Placid, New York, concluding the tournament with a stunning 42 goals for and just three against in seven games.
UNB’s Kendra Woodland earned the shutout, concluding an incredible tournament that saw her stop 63 of the 64 shots she faced, good for a .984 save percentage.
“You always have something to prove when put this jersey on,” said Woodland. “It is striving to be the best you can be. I stuck to my game and got the results I wanted to get.”
The first period looked eerily similar to the opening frame when the two teams met in the preliminary round. Canada controlled much of the play, but a fresh and disciplined Japanese squad did well to defend significant scoring opportunities.
Despite Canada outshooting Japan 13-4 in the frame, it was a relatively muted affair on the offensive end, sending the game into the first intermission tied 0-0.
In the second period, the offensive pipes burst.
Canada continued to pour it on, testing goaltender Miyuu Masuhara from all over the ice, looking to get the offense going. At that 18:24 mark, they broke through. Montreal’s Audrey-Anne Veillette gathered a loose puck in the slot and beat Masuhara upstairs, making it 1-0.
Four minutes later, it was Maria Dominico’s turn. The Nipissing forward, who led Canada in scoring in the preliminary round, went top shelf from the slot for her sixth of the tournament, doubling the Canadian lead.
At the ten minute mark, on a 5-on-3 powerplay, U SPORTS leading scorer Maggy Burbidge put her stamp on the game, as the StFX forward tapped in her own rebound to make it 3-0. But the Canadian powerplay wasn’t done. Captain Canada, Emmy Fecteau proved why she has one of the most feared wristers in the game, beating Masuhara from the high slot, stretching the lead to four and thrilling the Canadians in attendance.
“We came in with a good mindset and everyone bought in right away,” said UNB’s Jenne MacLean. “We have grown since day one and we have had a lot of fun doing it.”
With the result no longer in question, the third period belonged to the Canadians who continued to control play. They’d add a fifth and final goal from the youngest player on the team, McGill’s Elizabeth Mura, who was sensational all tournament, posting a plus/minus of +15; good for tops of any player competing in FISU.
When the final buzzer sounded, Canada had earned a convincing, thrilling 5-0 victory, putting the cherry on top of a sublime run of seven games.
“This feels pretty amazing. When you pull this jersey on, you dream of winning a gold medal,” said Woodland. “We did that today. It is an amazing feeling.”
“This is a dream come true wearing this jersey with this group of people, said MacLean. “I will remember the people. The way all the girls bought in and all wanted it for each other. We ended up getting exactly what we came for. It’s awesome.”