Balanced attack propels Canada’s hockey women to victory over PWHPA all-stars

December 11, 2021
Balanced attack propels Canada's hockey women to victory over PWHPA all-stars
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Natalie Spooner and Sarah Fillier each had a goal and an assist for the Canadian women’s hockey team in a 5-1 win over the PWHPA all-stars Saturday.

Jamie Lee Rattray, Rebecca Johnston and Kristin O’Neill also scored for Canada and Victoria Bach has two assists at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary. Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 12 of 13 shots for the win.

Jessie Eldridge scored for the all-stars and goalie Kassidy Sauve turned away 46 of 51 shots in the loss.

The Canadian women’s hockey team has been centralized in Calgary since July preparing for February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Three of the 29 players invited to centralize were released earlier this month, leaving 26 still trying out for a 23-player Olympic roster to be named later this month.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association rose from the ashes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League that folded in 2019 after a dozen years.

The PWHPA runs showcase tournaments and games for member players to drum up support for a sustainable women’s pro league that offers the same competitive and financial support the male pros have.

The majority of national-team players in Canada and the United States are PWHPA members but can’t play in PWHPA events this winter while they’re in residence with their respective Olympic squads.

Series in Japan cancelled

The PWHPA held a showcase tournament Nov. 12-14 in Truro, N.S., and another scheduled Dec. 18-19 in Toronto features a final at Scotiabank Arena.

A planned January series in Japan against its national women’s team was cancelled because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The PWHPA’s all-star roster in Calgary featured women who previously played for Canada at world championships and Olympic Games — Loren Gabel, Sarah Potomak, Brigette Lacquette and Laura Fortino — as well as forward Jessie Eldridge who was among the players released from Canada’s centralized roster.

Canada edged the PWHPA 3-2 on Thursday in the first of a two-game set. All-stars goalie Shea Tiley made 53 saves in a losing cause.

Canada generated all its goals in the third period in that game, but Spooner scored at 9:45 of the opening period Saturday on a feed from Sarah Fillier.

Rattray scored from her knees in a goalmouth scramble at 15:58 of the second period. Johnston, Fillier and O’Neill padded Canada’s lead in the third before Eldridge countered for the all-stars.

The Canadian women resume their Rivalry Series against the United States on Wednesday in St. Louis followed by another game there Friday.

Canada leads the nine-game series with a record of 2-1-1.

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