By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jussi Nukari
The Canadian Women's team participating at the 2019 IIHF Women's World Championship in Espoo, Finland will play for bronze on Sunday.
Following a 6-0 win over Switzerland, a 3-2 loss to the United States, a 5-1 triumph over Russia and a 6-1 rout of the Finns, Canada moved on to the Quarterfinal of the Women's Worlds on Thursday, where they handily knocked Germany out with a 5-0 victory, setting the state for a matchup with the host Finland on Saturday morning.
Finnish goaltender Noora Raty allowed goals from Loren Gabel and Jamie Lee Rattray, but shut the door on the other 43 Team Canada shots, propelling her teammates to Finland's first-ever Women's World Championship victory over the highly favoured Canadian squad. Team Canada netminder Shannon Szabados was outdueled Saturday, as she allowed three goals on just 19 shots, ultimately seeing her team also give up an empty-net marker late in the game, handing Finland a 4-2 victory.
Rattray got things going for Canada early on, scoring just two minutes into the game, but late in the opening frame with Lauren Fortino in the box for slashing, the Finns beat the experienced tendy, knotting the game up through 20 minutes of play.
After taking the lead midway through the second period, former University of Manitoba Bison Venla Hovi and Team Finland surrendered a game-tying goal just one minute later, as Gabel brought the score to 2-2 with 33 minutes left to play. Late in the period, Susanna Tapani put the Finns ahead once again on an even-strength marker. Neither team managed to score in the third period, other than the empty netter by Ronja Savolainen after a Finnish goalmouth scramble.
Although outshooting their Scandinavian opponents 45-20, Team Canada lost the Semifinal matchup, dropping the Canadian Women into a battle for the bronze medal at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning against the Russians, who lost 8-0 to Team USA later on Saturday afternoon. 4-2-0 Finland will go up against the 6-0-0 Americans at 1:00 PM on home soil.
Through six tournament games, Ste. Anne's Jocelyne Larocque has two assists and one penalty, while Mallard's Brigette Lacquette has put up five assists and has also registered one penalty in that timeframe.