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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Can Canada keep it up?

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We look at last night’s game, the DivIIB qualifying tournament and hockey highlights around the world.

Meghan Agosta #2 of Canada celebrates with Genevieve Lacasse #31 after scoring a goal against the United States during the second period at Agganis Arena at Boston University on October 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Genevieve Lacasse celebrates with Meghan Agosta
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Story of the week

...Like we were going to talk about something else. Canada took on the USA last night in Winnipeg and it was a hell of a game.

For the first two and three-quarters periods of this game, Geneviève Lacasse and Alex Rigsby put on a top-caliber goaltending duel. Lacasse’s glove hand got a particularly good workout, her performance demonstrating that Szabados might be Canada’s starter, but they’ve got some great talent as backup.

Rigsby hasn’t played much this series, Stauber preferring to start younger goalies Nicole Hensley and Maddie Rooney (presumably he wants to see what the two less experienced goalies can do in game time situations). Through most of the game, Rigsby looked great, but just as we were all settling in for overtime—it is USA vs Canada, after all—Jillian Saulnier happened.

We at Pension Plan Puppets have made no secret of our deep and abiding affection for Saulnier (I want a jersey! -nafio) and she just keeps proving us right. This gif doesn’t show her picking off a pass in the neutral zone and carrying the puck in, or the strength of her forecheck (along with Jennifer Wakefield) to maintain possession, but it does show a fantastic backhand basically through Lee Stecklein right on Rigsby’s doorstep. Laura Fortino would tack on an empty netter a few minutes later, and Canada won their second game in a row, 2-0.

Other things that were great about this game:

  • the distinct sound of several thousand female fans at a hockey game.
  • Cheryl Pounder continuing to refer to the line of Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner, and Jillian Saulnier as “the Inferno line”. Not only is this correct but more references should be made to the pro teams during international games.
  • Dani Cameranesi.
  • Marie-Philip Poulin getting one of the Lamoureux twins in a headlock.
  • Meghan Agosta.
  • Eighteen-year-old Cayla Barnes calmly and capably quarterbacking the USA powerplay.
  • The close score. It’s bad for the heart, but the 5-2 and 5-1 scores to start the series do not constitute proper Canada-USA games.

International hockey

12/3 RECAP: Canada Beats USA Women's Hockey in OT | Zone Coverage - Cold Omaha
The other contests in "The Time Is Now Tour" between USA women's hockey and Canada were pretty lopsided and not very close.

Four Positives and Two Negatives From USA vs. Canada - SB Nation College Hockey
Team USA dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime yesterday to Canada in the penultimate game of The Time Is Now Tour between the US and Canada as they prepare for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics.

USWNT Standouts Coyne, Pfalzer and Pelkey Prove Height Is Just A Number
They’ve been told throughout their careers that they’re too small to play hockey.

Is She the Future of European Hockey?
At just 17 years of age Kristiāna Apsīte of Latvia is one of the most exciting young goalies in all of Europe. A likely cornerstone for many years to come.

Une jeune gardienne de but impressionne à Shédiac
Jade Shushu Saulnier Cyr est la première fille à faire partie des Patriotes de Louis-J.-Robichaud. She's also trying out for the U-18 team for China.

Shiarna Tarasenko back in green and gold for world champs | Blacktown Sun
Shiarna Tarasenko will return to the international stage for Australia.

After two days of round robin action, Croatia leads the pack at the IIHF Division IIB qualifiers with two wins and a goal differential of plus 14.
After two days of round robin action, Croatia leads the pack at the IIHF Division IIB qualifiers.


Les Canadiennes de Montréal beat Markham Thunder 3-2 in shootout - Pension Plan Puppets
Erica Howe puts on a 30-plus save performance in the loss.

Toronto Furies lose to les Canadiennes de Montréal 8-3 - Pension Plan Puppets
The Furies last home game of 2017 was not their best.

‘I’m going to look for the C for Les Canadiennes not the letter that’s on my jersey’: Ann-Sophie Bettez leads team on weekend road trip - Eyes On The Prize
The defending champions have a new captain as they head on the road for two games

New This Season in a Canadian Hockey League: Road Trips to China - The New York Times
The two newest teams in Canadian Women’s Hockey League play nearly 8,000 miles from Toronto — in Shenzhen, China.


NWHL Recap: Week 5 - The Ice Garden
The Pride get their first win and the Riveters remain undefeated

Beauts rookie Maddie Elia suspended for one game - The Ice Garden
Elia went after Riveters defender Kelsey Koelzer twice with her stick on November 18th.


Polls: USCHO | USA Today | The Ice Garden

Always in Season: Kenzie Kent's Just Getting Started | US Lacrosse Magazine
Profile of Kenzie Kent, a standout two-sport athlete for Boston College who very well may end up playing both professional women's hockey and professional women's lacrosse next year.

College hockey: Daryl Watts makes immediate scoring impact with Boston College women’s team | Boston Herald
Don’t look now but there’s a four-way race for Division 1 national scoring title with all the candidates operating close to Commonwealth Avenue

NCAA women's hockey: Caitrin Lonergan's prolific week headlines three stars |
A pair of sturdy goalies and a high-scoring Boston College forward headline this week's women's hockey stars.

Nine-game winning streak snapped as Gophers women's hockey falls to Bemidji State. -
Jacqueline Kaasa scored twice as Bemidji State upset the No. 6 Gophers 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena

Weekend wrap: Dec. 3 :: Blogs
Nicole Haase has summaries and scores of the weekend's games

U Sports

Top 10 Tuesday — U SPORTS
Manitoba earns first No.1 ranking in women’s hockey history

Concordia Women’s Hockey Player is Learning From the CWHL’s Best | Sports – The Link
Melinda Prevost’s arrival at Concordia was far from conventional.

WHKY: Kish earns shutout as Cougars skate to 2-0 win over Huskies - Canada West Universities Athletic Association

European league hockey

Naistenliiga (Finland) Behind The Mask: Vilma Vaattovaara - The Ice Garden
Childhood passion still holds plenty of meaning.

SWHL (Switzerland) ZSC, HCL, and EV Bomo Thun have qualified for the playoffs -
This past weekend, everything followed the usual script: the ZSC Lions won against Reinach and Thun, Lugano secured victories against SC Weinfelden and Neuchâtel.

Women’s league (Russia) Women’s Hockey Update: December 4th, 2017 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
On and off the ice, there have been noteworthy developments in Russian women's hockey over the past seven days, and more than a few!

EIHL (England) Streatham Storm come up short against table-topping opposition – South London News

Ice-hockey: Streatham Storm give Solihull Vixons a scare in Elite League – South London News

AWIHL (Australia)

2017-18 AWIHL season: Round 4 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 4 of the 2017-18 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League has finished with the Melbourne Ice taking both wins over the Adelaide Rush at the O'Brien Group Arena.