CANADA EXPLODES FOR THREE GOALS IN SECOND PERIOD
Talk about veteran power. Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford, and Hayley Wickenheiser staked Canada to a 3-0 lead heading into the third period of the 2007 gold medal game at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre.
At 0:58 of the second period, Canada took a 1-0 lead when Botterill’s bad-angle shot from the right side tipped off USA defenceman Caitlin Cahow’s skate and caught goalie Chanda Gunn moving the wrong way as the short side opened up. The crowd exploded with cheers for Botterill, a 27-year-old Winnipeg native.
Moments later, Natalie Darwitz and Jenny Potter had back-to-back chances after a bad clearing attempt out of the Canadian zone, but couldn’t convert. Jayna Hefford tried to feed Botterill by the net after an American turnover, but her pass ended up going on net and Gunn barely snared it with her left skate.
The game started to open up as the teams traded end-to-end rushes down the wings.
Canada grabbed a 2-0 lead at 11:33 thanks to Hefford’s determination. The veteran sniper barged to the net in search of Vicky Sunohara’s centering pass from behind the goal line, and jammed home a backhand from the goal crease despite American defenders sprawling to stop her. The play was video-reviewed, but the goal was permitted to stand.
At 16:27, it was 3-0 Canada after Hayley Wickenheiser came down left wing on a 2-on-1, using Kelly Bechard as a decoy, hesitating, and then snapping a perfect shot over Gunn’s glove.
Canada killed off a late American power play despite intense pressure, maintaining its three-goal lead. Total shots on goal were 24-14 Canada heading into the third period.
CANADA AND USA SCORELESS THROUGH 20 MINUTES
In the gold medal game of the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre, Canada and the USA competed like crazy in the first period, but Canada’s Kim St-Pierre and the USA’s Chanda Gunn were unbeatable in goal.
The teams established a rapid, physical tempo from the start, and didn’t let up.
Canada’s Jennifer Botterill received the game’s first penalty for kneeing Kristin King at 1:06. The USA came closest to scoring on the ensuing power play when Canadian defenceman Tessa Bonhomme stumbled over the puck in the crease and nearly kicked it into her own net, but St-Pierre was alert to cover up.
The USA’s Gigi Marvin took a tripping minor while forechecking in Canada’s end at 3:31, but that was nullified just over half a minute later when Meghan Agosta went off for cross-checking (a late call) deep in the American end.
St-Pierre showed off her great glove hand with multiple long-range stops on American snipers, and kept her presence of mind even when bowled over by USA captain Krissy Wendell, who was going hard to the net.
Canada buzzed around the American net during a power play before the midway mark of the first period, but couldn’t solve Gunn. The USA’s Kerry Weiland got run over by Sarah Vaillancourt deep in the American zone, and remained down on her hands and knees, causing a stoppage in play, before she was able to make her way to the bench.
Sarah Parsons nearly deked her way past St-Pierre, but the puck drifted off her stick at the last second at 13:49. Then with under three minutes left in the period, defenceman Cheryl Pounder played an odd-man rush perfectly, sliding to take away both the pass and shot options from the USA’s Marvin.
Seconds later, Canada had its own chance to score when Gillian Apps crashed into Gunn, knocking off the USA goalie’s helmet, after trying to convert a centering pass off the rush from Agosta.
The USA’s best chance of the period came with less than 10 seconds before the buzzer, as Natalie Darwitz powered a high drive off the goal post.
Stay tuned to HockeyCanada.ca for another update after the second period.