2017 U SPORTS Player of the Year Sarah Bujold of the StFX X-Women scored with 42.4 seconds remaining, but the U SPORTS All-Stars fell to Team Japan 3-2 Monday night in the opening game of the 2018 Hockey Canada Summer Showcase at WinSport Arena.
Ottawa Gee-Gees defender Cassidy Herman also scored in the loss for Team U SPORTS. Concordia goaltender Katherine Purchase – one of four Stingers on the squad to lead all U SPORTS programs – made 41 saves in the loss, while Akane Konishi and Sayaka Narumi combined for the 28-save victory. Yoshino Enomoto with a pair and Ayaka Toko scored for Japan.
"We played a strong game front to back for our first game together as a group,” said U SPORTS head coach Stacey Colarossi of the Laurentian Voyageurs, who is serving as bench boss for the second consecutive year at the Summer Showcase. “Moving forward, we’re certainly going to have to capitalize on our offensive chances. We’d like to continue gaining some speed crossing that offensive blue line."
Just under five and a half minutes in, McGill Martlets forward Jade Downie-Landry – a silver medalist with Hockey Canada at the 2017 Nations Cup – fed Herman for a low point shot that found the back of the net, giving U SPORTS the early lead. Enomoto tied the game at one with her first of the night with 1:13 remaining, then scored the go-ahead marker 12 minutes into the middle frame before Toko added to the lead with just under a minute left. Bujold, one of seven returning players on the U SPORTS roster, cut the deficit to one late, tapping a home a rebound to pull within one to round out the scoring.
Team U SPORTS’ all-time record against Japan falls to 1-2 at the event, after splitting a pair of contests last year, which was highlighted by a 2-1 victory. Since 2016, the U SPORTS All-Stars have been invited to take part in Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase with the Canadian National Women’s Development Team along with international opponents. Each year, the U SPORTS All-Stars feature former major award winners and All-Canadians, as well as future CWHL draftees.
The U SPORTS All-Stars will now turn their attention to Hockey Canada’s Development Squad for the next two games, playing Team James on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT. You can livestream the game here.