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Sarah Nurse and Brianne Jenner score dueling hat tricks in surprising blowout of Finland

and Sarah Fillier continues to shoot the lights out

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 1
BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 05: Sarah Nurse #20 of Team Canada celebrates after scoring a goal against Team Finland in the second period during the Women’s Preliminary Round Group A match at Wukesong Sports Center on February 05, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

While it was the Sarahs, Nurse and Fillier, going back and forth with goals in the first two periods of Friday night’s Team Canada vs. Team Finland group stage match, it was eventually Brianne Jenner who would get the hat trick alongside Sarah Nurse in an 11-1 shocker against the Finns.

The 21-year-old Sarah Fillier, who has been lighting up her first Olympics, had a second consecutive two-goal game. She wasn’t the only one with a second two-goal night, as Laura Stacey also potted home two from the fourth line. Jamie Lee Rattray also scored after getting promoted from the extra forward slot onto the second line with Melodie Daoust out with a shoulder injury.

Canada took a modest 48 shots on goal (compared to the 70 against the Swiss) against Finland, while Ann Renee Desbiens stopped 28 of 29 shots she faced in another comfortable win.

Finland were on the second half of a back-to-back that saw them play the United States on Thursday night and Canada on Friday night. They had Meeri Raisanen in net for both games and it was clear she just didn’t have it in the second half of the game as Canada took a relatively close first half into a one-sided scoreline. Yes, I can hear you all wondering what Noora Räty is doing right now.

Canada’s Lineup

Jamie-Lee Rattray moved up to the second line from the fourth line to play with Fillier and Spooner in the absence of Melodie Daoust, who is officially out day-to-day with a shoulder injury. This kept the Nurse-Turnbull-Johnston line intact. Rattray was cut from the National Team in 2016 ahead of the last games, so her being here at all is a testament to her dedication and fight to get that funding back, and to her amazing final year in the CWHL where she won the Jayna Hefford Trophy for regular season MVP. That season got her back on the program and it’s been a long four years to get that redemption.

The IIHF lets teams dress 13 forwards and seven defenders, but in this game Canada chose to play with 19 skaters instead of dip into the Taxi Squad, likely to keep them as insurance in case of a significant outbreak.

Ann-Renee Desbiens did indeed get the start, with Emerance Maschmeyer as the backup.

Emily Clark - Marie-Philip Poulin (C) - Brianne Jenner
Jamie-Lee Rattray - Sarah Fillier - Natalie Spooner
Sarah Nurse - Blayre Turnbull - Rebecca Johnston
Jill Saulnier - Emma Maltais - Laura Stacey

Jocelyne Larocque - Renata Fast
Claire Thompson - Erin Ambrose
Micah Zander-Hart - Ashton Bell
Ella Shelton

Ann Renee Desbiens
Emerance Maschmeyer

Finland’s Lineup

Petra Nieminen - Michelle Karvinen - Susanna Tapani
Elisa Holopainen - Viivi Vainikka - Noora Tulus
Sanni Hakala - Sofianna Sundelin - Tanja Niskanen
Julia Liikala - Jenniina Nylund - Emilia Vesa
Sanni Vanhanen

Jenni Hiirikoski (C) - Ronja Savolainen
Ella Viitasuo - Minttu Tuominen
Sanni Rantala - Nelli Laitinen
Sini Karjalainen

Meeri Raisanen
Anni Keisala

Game Replay:

First Period

1-0

I really have to get used to these first minute goals from Sarah Fillier. With Jamie-Lee Rattray in front causing a mess and backing up the defender, Fillier snipes another puck into the top corner to give Canada the early lead. Spooner got her sixth point in only four periods with the primary helper from along the boards and Claire Thompson with the other assist.

Every time I see her shot, I’m astonished millions of hockey lovers aren’t staying up late to see her play. What a rocket. So precise. I don’t know what more to say.

Blayre Turnbull, who scored twice in the opener, might be the perfect third liner. She’s full of speed and spit, and seemingly gets a shorthanded chance every penalty. When Renata Fast got called for hooking in the middle of the first, she had two.

2-0

Sarah Nurse with a steal and a snipe! 19-year-old defender Sanni Rantala gave the puck away with a weak pass, allowing Nurse to jump up into the forecheck, and in one fluid motion whip the shot right into the corner past goalie Meeri Raisanen.

2-1

Veteran defender Minttu Tuominen got a shot through a couple layers of screens to give Finland’s first goal of the game. Desbiens was down and trying to stretch as the rising shot pinged down from the crossbar and in.

After One

Canada did indeed have a lot of chances in the first period, but not nearly to the same degree they got them against Switzerland. That just points to the quality Finland brings as upset candidates. The score did reflect the overall pace of play; Canada on top, but Finland not far behind and capable of making mistakes hurt. I found Canada to be a little lax on d-zone giveaways, relying on blocking shots a lot more than preventing the Finns from getting the puck in the first place.

Second Period

3-1

Oh, Sarah Fillier, you are just unfair. Renata Fast got into the offensive zone along the boards, and as she was getting rubbed out, she centered the puck to Fillier. She tried to catch the puck on her backhand, but it didn’t quite work. She stayed on the play, getting a second attempt, flipping the puck in the most perfect arc up and over Raisanen’s shoulder and into the back of the net. A goalscorers goal, with incredible touch and persistence.

I LOVED the camera angle on the goal about 37 seconds into the video.

With Holopainen in the box, Rattray went “PING!” off the crossbar during the power play when she found some open ice from the zone entry.

4-1

Sarah (Fillier)! Sarah (Nurse)! Sarah (Fillier)! Sarah (Nurse)! The Sarahs were having their own skills competition in this game, with Nurse responding to her teammate Fillier’s highlight reel goal from the second period. It was a tricky passing play between Rattray and Spooner as the two were trying to push hard to the net. Spooner saw Nurse and teed her up for a huge shot, which she nailed.

5-1

Just as I tweeted that, Brianne Jenner scored on the ensuing faceoff at center ice. She got a pass through the neutral zone Jocelyne Larocque before taking a contested shot from the top of the circles. I didn’t expect the goal to go in, especially as the puck deflected off Raisanen’s glove and in. A tough one for the Finnish goalie, but it’s on the board nonetheless.

6-1

Yeah, things started to fall apart here for Finland here as Jenner got her second of the night, making it three Canadians with two goals in the game. Jenner through a centering pass towards the net and it was another terrible bounce that ended up in the back of the net.

7-1

A d-zone turnover — or at least a play Finland would’ve made in the first period — and Laura Stacey scores off the skate of Hiirikoski while trying to give Jenner a hat trick.

After Two

Finland swapped Raisanen for Anni Keisnen to start the third period in net. Raisanen had to go up against the USA on Thursday night and then Canada on Saturday night, so it was a heck of a tall order to put on her. She was showing a lot of signs of fatigue in the second period, especially after having to face 52+35=77 shots in five periods against the best two lineups assembled in all of hockey right now.

Third Period

There was shoving in front of the Canadian net as the Finns tried very aggressively to bang the puck out of Desbiens’ glove as the puck was loose for a split second. The Canadians didn’t like it, but the two sides were separated fairly quickly.

8-1

Rattray with a beautiful backhand short side!! This game was long done, but Ratty made sure to reward the fans staying up for the third period with a slick power move down the right side.

9-1

Sarah Nurse with the hat trick! Erin Ambrose made this goal happen with yet another perfect cross-ice pass to find a wide open forward for a goal. This time it was Nurse coming down the wing on the far side and redirecting the hard pass to her past Keisala.

10-1

Laura Stacey just keeps finding ways to put the puck in the net, as she scored her fourth goal of the tournament and her second two-goal night. The fourth line has just worked really hard shift-in shift-out for Canada in the offensive zone, and when you put your shots together, you get opportunities for goals. Stacey has been converting on everything she’s getting.

11-1

Jenner with a hat trick of her own! The Finns did not have someone come back to the blueline to cover the point, leaving Canada off to the races for a 3-on-1. Clark gave the puck to Jenner, who walked right up to a deep Keisala and went top shelf.