The 4 Nations Cup tournament began yesterday in Saskatoon. The end results were pretty much as expected - Canada and USA won, Sweden and Finland did not. However, there were still points of interest about both games.

USA 5 - Finland 1

From all accounts Team USA had a bit of a slow start. Not only did Finland get on the board first, the puck went in off an American defender. Emma Nuutinen got the goal, with assists from Tanja Niskanen and Nelli Laitenin.

USA still outshot Finland in the first period but it was 9-3, which is not the shot volume you expect from them.

The Americans came out roaring in the second, Brianna Decker scoring just 13 seconds into the frame with a nasty little shot.

Things went downhill from there for the Finns as Team USA scored five times in the period. Sure, some of them were pretty great, like Decker’s. Others, like Sydney Brodt’s goal below, well...

If anyone has the slightest idea what Noora Räty and her defenders are trying to do there, please feel free to enlighten us in the comments.

The goal scorers were Decker, Cayla Barnes, Hilary Knight, Brodt and Dani Cameranesi. Caitrin Lonergan picked up her first senior team point with an assist on the Knight goal. (@WSportHilites has you covered with all the gifs.)

The Americans laid off the gas in the third, but the damage was done. Total shots were 49 - 10 in favour of USA.

Räty’s got to get it together, or Finland’s in trouble. If she’d played the way we’re used to seeing her play this game would have been much closer, although I’m sure she’ll also be having a talk with her defence corps. One bright spot thought - they killed off all six of their penalties. Meanwhile USA will have to have a far better first period tonight against Canada or they’re going to be down more than 1-0.

Canada 6 - Sweden 1

Going into this game the hope was simply that Sweden would put up a good show and not get completely massacred. Mission accomplished.

The two teams spent some time feeling each other out in the first period, Canada sending a lot of short passes around and getting the lay of the land. The first goal actually came shorthanded, with Renata Fast and Laura  Stacey barrelling into the offensive zone and trying their luck.  Fast carried the puck in and drew goalie Lovisa Selander’s attention before passing off to Stacey, who got the goal.

The second goal was probably the prettiest of the game. Advice to other teams: do not give Mélodie Daoust time and space in front of your goalie it does not end well.

Rebecca Johnston picked up her first assist of the night on this goal. She’d end the night with four of em. (Annie has waxed poetic about Johnston before.)

GTA fans will be glad to know that Furies and Thunder players combined for six points on the night: goals for Stacey and Fortino and assists for Fast (2), Spooner and Nurse. Generally Coach Perry Pearn tended to pair CWHL teammates (or former teammates, in the case of Saulnier and Turnbull) up on the forward lines, so the Spooner and Nurse assists were on the same goal, Sarah Fillier’s first senior team point.

An interesting thing to note is that Canada tallied half of their shots in the second period but only scored one goal that period, a power play goal by Fortino. Despite everything, Selander looked good in her first start.

It’s been quite a while since Sweden managed to score an actual goal on Canada. When it came it was a power play goal. Sweden had had  the player advantage for all but 38 seconds (which were 4 on 4) of the previous three minutes so perhaps you could put some of the blame on tired Team Canada players, but a goal is a goal and it was their first against Canada in more than a calendar year.  Emma Nordin did the honours.

Apart from the first half of the second period, Sweden kept up with Canada pretty well, and Szabados certainly wasn’t able to take any naps. Considering Räty’s performance yesterday, today’s Sweden-Finland clash could be quite interesting.

Goal by Goal: 2018 Four Nations Cup Game 2 - Canada v Sweden

Both teams took four penalties each, so I can’t say that Canada took an excessive amount, but hopefully they remember Sweden’s power play marker and not their own shorthanded goal.

Day two awaits, likely a preview of the medal games. Finland vs Sweden is the day game, followed by Canada vs USA. There’s no love lost between either matchup, and things are likely to get physical.

If you’re still looking for team previews and players to watch, Gabs Fundaro  from At Even Strength has you covered:

4 Nations Cup Preview: Team Canada Roster Breakdown | At Even Strength

4 Nations Cup Preview: Finland looking to win the right game | At Even Strength

4 Nations Cup Preview: Sweden hopes to “dare to play” | At Even Strength

4 Nations Cup Preview: Team USA Roster Breakdown | At Even Strength

4 Nations Cup Preview: Players to Watch | At Even Strength

International Hockey

How to watch 4 Nations Cup women’s hockey schedule and rosters - Pension Plan Puppets
USA, Canada, Finland and Sweden meet in Saskatoon November 6-10

TIG Roundtable: Who will win at Four Nations? - The Ice Garden
Will the short tournament go as predicted or will chaos reign?

Q&A with Team Canada goaltender Shannon Szabados - The Ice Garden
Ahead of the 2018 Four Nations Cup, read what Szabados thinks about playing on home ice, facing off against the other three teams, and more!

Ready for redemption
Left off Canada’s Olympic roster, Emerance Maschmeyer has used the last year to reshape her confidence and return to Team Canada with a new perspective

Canada’s Four Nations Cup coach feels more appreciated in women’s game | CBC Sports
Perry Pearn wanted to take his 21 years of coaching in the NHL to a hockey team that valued his experience, and Canada’s bench boss for the Four Nations Cup has found that in the women’s game.

Gosling’s goal is to help Canada get back on top at Four Nations Cup | The London Free Press
The Canadian women’s hockey team is not the reigning Olympic gold medalist.They lost the last four world championships and past three Four-Nations Cups, all to the United States. Sounds like a pretty good time to add the first Londoner to their roster.

Fresh Off Olympic Gold-Medal Win, U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Returns At Four Nations Cup
After an Olympic gold-medal performance just a few months ago, the U.S. women’s ice hockey team heads into the upcoming Four Nations Cup with a target on its back.

CWHL Markham Thunder’s Jamie Lee Rattray named to 4 Nations Cup roster - Pension Plan Puppets
Rattray and Cornell’s Kristin O’Neill will be going as Team Canada injury replacements

Women’s Hockey News: Team Canada adds Victoria Bach for 4 Nations Cup - Annie
In a last-minute addition, the Thunder’s 2018 first-round pick is headed to Saskatoon.


Polls: USCHO - USA Today - The Ice Garden

Women's hockey: Sena Hanson's third multi-point game lifts Brown past No. 9 Colgate 4-3 |
The Brown women's hockey team knocked off No. 9/10 Colgate, 4-3, on Friday night at Meehan Auditorium.

Princeton women's hockey rebounds from tough start | Sports |
PRINCETON — After a disappointing season-opening weekend in Wisconsin in which the Princeton women’s hockey team lost both games to the No. 1 ranked Badgers, it rebounded with a stellar,

Women's hockey: Brown earns second consecutive win against a Top 10 opponent with 4-3 victory over No. 6 Cornell |
The Brown women's hockey team upset a ranked opponent for the second-straight day, defeating No. 6/6 Cornell, 4-3, on Saturday at Meehan Auditorium.

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Turns In A Complete Effort Against UConn, Shuts Out The Huskies 3-0 - BC Interruption
Yes, this is what we’ve been looking for

Minnesota Gophers Battle Back from Two Goal Deficit to Beat Bemidji State Beavers Women WCHA - Hockey Wilderness
Despite their strong start, Bemidji State fell 6-3 to Minnesota.

Minnesota Gopher Women Overcome Angry Bemidji State Beavers WCHA - Hockey Wilderness
In a tight game to the very finish Minnesota edges Bemidji out for a 2-1 victory.

U Sports

Top 10 Tuesday - U SPORTS
Manitoba climbs back into the top spot.

Oleksuk leads St. Thomas Tommies | Local Sports |
Playing at close to a point-per-game pace early in his season in Atlantic University Sports women’s hockey competition, Thunder Bay’s Emily Oleksuk is off to another solid start

Concordia Women’s Hockey Team Snaps Two-Game Losing Streak Against Carabins | Sports – The Link
Coach Julie Chu’s squad had quite the challenge facing up against the number one team in the nation in the Université de Montréal Carabins.


Implementing safety
Q-and-A with NWHL official and safety committee chairperson Kelly Cooke

NWHL Stock Report: Week 4 - The Ice Garden
Caps keep rolling! Szabados allowed a goal! The Rivs won a game!

Duluth Bulldogs Unable to Stop Minnesota Whitecaps Wave NWHL WCHA women - Hockey Wilderness
The Minnesota Whitecaps rolled the Duluth Bulldogs 5-1 in an exhibition match that included an Allie Thunstrom hat trick.

AWIHL (Australia)

2018-19 AWIHL season: Round 2 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 2 of the 2018-19 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League season has finished with the Melbourne Ice defeating the Sydney Sirens in both games of their double header.