OTTAWA, ONT – Canada remained undefeated with a win over Great Britain on Tuesday afternoon at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games. Canada has one more preliminary round game to play, but they are already guaranteed the top spot heading into the semi-finals, which are set for Friday at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid.
The matchup was Team Great Britain’s first since their 21-0 defeat at the hands of the Americans.
The Canadians won the puck at the opening draw and plunged directly into the British zone. They set up in a wide circle and cycled the puck while Team Great Britain collapsed into the centre and tried to intercept passes. The occasional poke check from Great Britain gave them time to change before Canada re-entered the zone.
Neither team skated with much motivation, especially in the first period. The Canadian passes were sometimes sloppy and lackadaisical, allowing British players to force the Canadians offside.
It took nearly nine minutes, but Canada finally broke through when Maria Dominico made a great effort, and Scout Watkins Southward tapped in the rebound.
Four minutes later, Great Britain’s Hannah Ware and Charlotte Sims skated hard to give the British their first chances of the game. But Canada took it the other way and continued their onslaught of chances. With three minutes left in the first period, Carley Bossé-Olivier redirected a tape-to-tape pass from Waterloo teammate Leah Herrfort into the net for a second Canadian goal.
At the end of the first period, the Canadians led the shots 26-3. Due much credit, British netminder Ella Howard was responsible for absorbing most of the Canadian offence.
In the second period, the unrelenting Canadian pressure began to wear down the British.
British players had difficulty tracking the ever-moving puck and were often found with their backs turned to the play.
Just under five minutes into the period, Lea MacLeod evaded her defender, who was caught standing still. Open on the back post, MacLeod received a pass and scored Canada’s third.
The teams lined up for the centre ice faceoff, and Canada carried the puck in for another goal 17 seconds later. Canada scored seven goals in eight minutes of play, ending the second period ahead 9-0. Great Britain failed to record a shot in the period.
Canada looked more attentive to details in the third period. Canada didn’t score for the first 12 minutes of the period but scored another five in six and a half minutes to end the game 14-0.
“I think we worked a lot on the little things today and we didn’t stray away from our hard work and I think that speaks a lot to the Team Canada effort and everything we do and we thrive off of, so I think even regardles of the score, their goalie played amazing and props to her.. we just never chanegd our game,” said U SPORTS leading scorer Maggy Burbidge.
Kelly-Ann Nadeau scored goals 10 and 11 just a few seconds apart in a remarkable shift midway through the third.
After allowing ten goals on 63 shots, Howard retired for the night, and Natasha Durie came into the British net for the game’s final seven minutes.
Both teams will play their final preliminary-round games tomorrow. Canada’s matchup with the USA and Britain’s game against Japan will impact who the Canadiens meet in the elimination round. Canada will be number one, but five teams are still vying for the other three spots. A Canadian win over the USA would almost guarantee a Canada vs USA semi-final.
The Canadiens lead the tournament in goalkeeping with just one goal allowed in their four games played. The Canadian goalies have a combined .981 save percentage. Much of Canada’s defensive success came from the skaters, who have been the most effective team at preventing shots.
Canada will play the USA at 8 pm on Wednesday and their semi-final game on Friday.