Beat Finns in semifinal
Meghan Agosta of Team Canada celebrates the first goal of the night against Team Finland in 4 Nations Cup play Friday night at Mile One Centre in St. John's. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
It was another Harlem Globetrotters/Washington Generals–like performance in international women’s hockey Friday night, as Canada waltzed past Finland 15-0 en route to a date with the United States in the 4 Nations Cup final.
Tonight’s gold-medal game is slated for 7:30 p.m. (TSN2) at Mile One Centre.
Though it was a must-win situation, there was little doubt the Canadians would emerge past the Finns in a matchup of the gold and bronze medallists from the Vancouver Olympics.
Canada carried a 33-0 record against Finland into Friday’s tilt at Mile One. In fact, the Canadians have never lost to the Finns in international play, the only blemish being a 6-6 draw in 1999.
Marie Philip Poulin led the Canadians with three goals, while Jennifer Wakefield and Haley Irwin each scored twice. Meghan Agosta, Meghan Mikkelson, Jayna Hefford, Caroline Ouellette, Hayley Wickenheiser, Cherie Piper, Vicki Bendus and Natalie Spooner netted singles.
Shannon Szabados had an easy time posting the shutout with 12 saves.
The Finns and Canada were even through almost nine minutes into the first period before Agosta got Canada on the board on a play with Rebecca Johnston.
Mikkelson scored 2:08 later and the rout was on. Poulin closed out scoring through the opening 20 minutes, a period in which Canada outshot their guests 14-4.
Tonight’s final is a rematch of the tournament opener in which the States defeated Canada 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night.
It was Canada’s first loss to the Americans in six games, dating back to the Olympics, 4 Nations Cup and a pre-Olympic tournament last season.
In the 14 4 Nations Cup tournaments, Canada has won 11 championship, with the U.S. winning the other three. With the exception of 2001, when the U.S. did not compete following the 9/11 attacks, the Americans have won silver each year.