Meghan Agosta-Marciano broke a scoreless tie midway through the third period, and the Canadian women’s hockey team defeated Finland 3-0 in Group A action at the Sochi Olympics.
Meanwhile, Shannon Szabados made 14 saves for the shutout.
Goaltender Noora Raty kept Finland (0-2-0) in the game throughout, with many of her 39 saves coming on high-quality Canadian chances.
The win sets Canada up for another matchup with the United States (2-0-0) on Wednesday to determine who finishes first in Group A.
It certainly didn’t come easy for the Canadians, as Finland played a strong defensive game throughout, neutralizing many Canadian opportunities.
The first two periods were scoreless, though the game had its share of excitement. Both teams had opportunities to score, but Szabados and Raty kept opposing shooters in check.
The Finns had the period’s best chance on a late powerplay, but Szabados stopped Venla Hovi on a rebound at the top of the crease.
Canada had its fair share of opportunities in the second period, including a four-on-one in the Finnish zone early in the period.
However, they were unable to solve Raty, as many of her 17 second-period saves came on quality Canadian chances.
Finland also had chances on a late powerplay in the second, but Szabados stopped everything that came her way.
The Canadians applied relentless pressure to start the third period, and they finally broke through on their fourth powerplay of the game.
Agosta-Marciano’s first shot was stopped. However, she got her own rebound in the middle of the ice and fired a slapshot over Raty’s glove at 9:27.
Hefford, who is competing in her fifth Olympics, made it 2-0 less than three minutes later, flipping the puck to herself and breaking down the right side, deking around two Finnish defencemen and firing the puck over Raty’s glove.
Finland’s best chance came late in the third period, as Szabados had to make her best save on a shot from Emma Nuutinen.
Shortly thereafter, Johnston added an insurance marker, finishing off a two-on-one with Marie-Philip Poulin, getting Raty down and going high for her second of the Olympics.
The Finns applied pressure on a late powerplay, even pulling Raty to make it a six-on-four advantage. However, Szabados stood tall to preserve the shutout.
Game Notes: Canada has now won 17 consecutive Olympic women’s hockey games. Their only loss was in the final of the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. … Canada has won all five meetings with Finland at the Olympics. … Johnston is now tied with American forwards Kendall Coyne, Amanda Kessel, and Hilary Knight for the tournament scoring lead with four points. … Szabados posted her third career Olympic shutout with the win. … Hovi injured her hand after blocking a shot from Canada’s Tara Watchorn in the second period, and she did not return.
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