Western’s April Clark and Saskatchwan’s Bailee Bourassa scored to lead the U SPORTS All-Stars to their second straight Summer Showcase win, with a 2-1 victory over France.
U SPORTS emerged victorious in their first-ever battle with France’s development squad, thanks to a big special teams effort, as the French went 0-5 on the penalty kill. With little time to practice, it was a bright spot in the game for U SPORTS head coach Marc-André Côté.
"Today was a bit of a struggle compared to yesterday, he said. “But the girls fought hard and found a way to take it home.”
In the opening period, a U SPORTS power play set in motion the team’s first goal. While the advantage was short-lived after Bourassa took penalty, the ensuing face-off wound up in France’s end zone.
U SPORTS grabbed possession, with Autumn MacDougall capitalizing on a loose puck to the left of France’s backstopper Anais Aurard. She found Clark in the slot ready and waiting, and the reigning OUA Player of the Year banged it home just over eight and a half minutes in to give U SPORTS a 1-0 lead.
Coming off a 4-1 win over a speedy Japan squad on Tuesday, MacDougall said the team had to adjust to France’s more physical-style of play.
"I thought they were a lot stronger than the teams we've played so far,” she admitted, which included Team Russia in a simulation game on Sunday. “I mean they have some big girls and big bodies on the team and they are pretty physical.”
The team quickly found their groove though and by the second period they were up 2-0. With just over six minutes left in the frame, MacDougall came in streaking on the left side, and fed it across to Bourassa, who tapped it home shorthanded for her second goal of the Summer Showcase.
However, the tempo shifted in the third period, and France managed to overcome several penalties. Chloé Aurard closed the gap against U SPORTS with a shorthanded goal of her own just over halfway through the final frame. Aurard used a spin move to fool U SPORTS netminder Tricia Deguire, who allowed just the one goal on 33 shots.
GOAL!! U SPORTS with a shorty to make it 2-0 on France!— U SPORTS Hockey (@USPORTS_Hockey) August 7, 2019
Un But!! U SPORTS avec un shorty à faire 2-0 en France!
?- #14 Bourassa
?- #9 MacDougall
As the U SPORTS squad prepares for their games against the Hockey Canada Development Teams on Thursday and Friday, they are back to full strength with the return of Catherine Dubois from a hand injury.
"For someone who is supposed to shoot hard, with the injury you can't shoot a lot," she said.
"I'm trying to play more as a team and do more passes and less shooting."
U SPORTS plays Canada Gold on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT.