Quebec's Marie-Philip Poulin gave her country the lead for good late in the first period, helping Canada win 4-1 over Finland on Thursday in a match of the preliminary round of the Women's World Hockey Championship played in Herning, Denmark.
Despite several penalties, the Maple Leaf players got the tournament off to a good start, even though their rivals proved tough at the start. However, the Canadian domination was felt more afterwards, especially in the second period during which the winners had the upper hand 19 to 4 in terms of shots.
Poulin showed off her talent once again by breaking a tie with a wrist shot from the face-off circle. Previously, the number 29 had obtained an assist on the net from Sarah Nurse at the eighth minute. For her part, Meaghan Mikkelson widened the gap in the middle engagement after a turnaround by the opposing defense. Blayre Turnbull confirmed the Canadian victory by throwing the disc into an empty net at the end of the game.
Author of 16 saves, goalkeeper Ann-Renée Desbiens seemed weak on the goal of Julia Liikala, conceding a bad return that the striker pushed into the net. However, she redeemed herself by frustrating Kiira Yrjanen on a penalty shot with less than two seconds remaining in the opening third.
In the indiscipline category, Nurse stood out with her three visits to the dungeon. For her part, Petra Nieminen embarrassed Finland by being kicked out of the game for a check from behind against Kristin O'Neill in the first period.
In a losing cause, Anni Keisala saved 39 pucks.
The opposition should be less tough for head coach Troy Ryan's skaters this weekend. They will face Switzerland on Saturday and Japan the next day, before an expected meeting with the Americans on Tuesday.