Canada’s women’s hockey team secured first place in Group A at the Winter Universiade with a 11-0 win over the host Kazakhstan.
Alexandra Labelle (Salaberry-de Valleyfield, Que./Université de Montréal), scored a hat trick and added one assist while Université de Montréal teammate Catherine Dubois (Charlesbourg, Que.) also racked up four points in front of a packed house at Baluan Sholak Arena.
Despite the support of a boisterous home crowd of over 5,000, the Kazakhs couldn’t slow down a more experienced and skilled side which dominated 72-16 in shots on goal.
“Playing the host team, the atmosphere was amazing. The crowd was really behind them,” said University of Alberta forward Alex Poznikoff of Edmonton. “It didn’t feel like an 11-0 game. They were really intense and physical the whole way. We got a few at the end to make the score what it was.”
The Canadians were up 6-0 after two periods before exploding for five goals in the third, including four in the final eight minutes.
Also contributing offensively with three points apiece were team captain Katelyn Gosling (London, Ont./Western University), forward Kelty Apperson (New Hamburg, Ont./St. Thomas University), as well as defencemen Brianna Iazzolino (Thunder Bay, Ont./University of Guelph) and Katherine Bailey (Lucan, Ont./University of Guelph).
“The atmosphere was great,” said assistant coach Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ont./Western University). “We wanted to play a full 60 minutes to be ready for the medal round. We want to keep building and get better every day. Our last two periods were more where we want to be.”
With the win, Canada has tallied 34 goals in three games through group play. Defensively, the Canadians have earned two shutouts and only allowed 21 shots on goal through the three games. Labelle takes the lead as the tournament’s top goalscorer after netting a trio of goals against Kazakhstan. In three games, she has six goals and three assists.
Next up for Canada is a semifinal on Saturday against Group B’s Russia, the United States or Japan. Russia are the defending gold medallists and defeated Canada in the finals at the last Winter Universiade.
The U.S. are 1-1 in Group A play, losing to Russia (7-1) and defeating Japan (3-2). Russia faces Japan on Feb. 2.
The Canadian women’s hockey roster consists of all-stars chosen from U Sports teams to play in the Universiade held in Almaty from Jan. 28 to Feb. 8. The Universiade is a biennial international multisport event for full-time students at a post secondary institution or those who have graduated from a post secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
All women’s hockey games in Almaty are streamed live on www.livefisu.tv.Back to Top
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