Canada's women improves to 2-0 with rout of Great Britain

Canada's women improves to 2-0 with rout of Great Britain

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (U SPORTS) – For the second game in a row, the Canadian women's hockey team proved much too strong for its overwhelmed opponent at the 28th Winter Universiade as the U SPORTS all-stars improved to 2-0 thanks to a 14-0 domination of Great Britain, Monday afternoon.

It took the Canadians three minutes and 54 seconds to break the ice - due in part to an early penalty at the 1:41 mark - but they more than made up for it with eight goals on 37 shots before the first intermission.

One stat best summarizes Team Canada's domination: In her first start of the Games, netminder Stephanie Sluys of Clinton, Ont., didn't have to register a single save to earn her first Universiade victory as her teammates outshot their inexperienced rivals by an extraordinary 77-0 margin.

In their tournament opener on Saturday, the U SPORTS standouts had outshot China 55-5 on their way to a 9-1 win.

University of Montreal teammates Maude Laramée (2-3-5) of Gatineau, Que., and Alexandra Labelle (2-2-4) of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., collected five and four points against the British, respectively, while the University of Ottawa's Mélodie Bouchard of Sept-Îles, Que., had a hat-trick to follow-up on her four-point performance versus China (2-2-4).

Alexis Larson (1-2-3) and Alanna Sharman (0-3-3) also racked up three points, while Jessica Cormier found the back of the net twice.

"We're definitely happy with the result, obviously. It's always nice to get a win. It's good for the confidence, we get to know each other more in the offensive end," said Larson, a rearguard from Weyburn, Sask. "Regardless of the score, it's an honour any time you get to put on the Canadian jersey."

 "In a game like this, you try to work on your systems. We have to keep in mind we have a new group together at these Games," said head coach Rachel Flanagan from the University of Guelph. "It was an opportunity to work on our own game. It's about sticking to our game plan and execute well on special teams."

Canada went 4-for-9 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 marker, and was perfect on three penalty killing situations.

Before leaving the ice at the end of the game, the British squad skated around the ice to a standing ovation from the crowd.

No team members deserved more applause than goaltenders Samantha Bolwell and Holly Steeples, who were peppered with 44 and 33 shots, respectively.

Team Canada, which had won the first three FISU Games women's hockey tournaments (2009, 2011, 2013) before settling for silver two years ago in Spain, wraps up pool play Wednesday at 8 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EST) against host Kazakhstan (1-1).