GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Russia defeated Canada 3-0 in the women’s hockey final of the 27th Winter Universiade on Thursday night, ending the Canadians’ consecutive FISU championship streak in the sport at three. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Maple Leaf delegation claimed its first medal of the biennial games.
Anna Shokhina, who played on Russia’s 2014 Olympic team, scored a pair of goals, her tournament leading sixth and seventh tallies, to lead her country to the historic win. Netminder Yulia Leskina, another 2014 Olympic veteran, stopped all 40 shots she faced to end the competition with only two goals allowed on 85 shots, a save percentage of .977 and a goals against average of 0.63.
It was also Russia’s second consecutive win against Canada in Granada as they previously beat the team of CIS all-stars 3-1 in preliminary play, handing Canada’s its first-ever Universiade loss in women’s hockey in the process.
With the win, Russia becomes the first team other than Canada to capture the FISU gold medal, after Canadian teams triumphed in the three previous tournaments since the sport made its debut in 2009. The Russians also exacted a measure of revenge after losing to the Canucks 5-0 in the gold medal final in Trentino, Italy, in 2013.
Canada also defeated China 3-1 (2009) and Finland 4-1 (2011) in previous gold medal finals.
On Thursday night in the Granada Sport Palace, however, Canada struggled against a powerhouse Russian team that featured eight Olympians. Although the Red and White outshot its competition 40-34, and earned nine power-play opportunities, they could not solve Leksina.
“Special teams were the difference - they were much more organized than we were, and we knew that coming here,” noted Team Canada and University of Manitoba head coach Jon Rempel. “When you play a team with that many quality and veteran players like they have you pretty much have to play a perfect game.”
“I thought we generated a lot of stuff today,” Rempel added, “but we didn't get a lot of second chance opportunities. Of the 40 shots we had there were some quality ones, but just not enough to get through.”
After a tense opening period, Russia scored the only goal it needed at 2:16 of the second when Shokhina skated hard to the corner of the Canadian net, freezing University of Montreal goalie Élodie Rousseau-Sirois (Pohénégamook, Que.) on the post, and then going around the net for the wrap-around goal.
The Olympian doubled the lead 3:49 into the third stanza when she buried a power-play tally from the slot.
Forward Valeriia Pavlova scored her first of the tournament with eight minutes remaining to make it a 3-0 game.
Canada’s best chances came as the game was winding down. Team captain and 2013 Universiade gold medalist Laura Brooker (Fergus, Ont.) of the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks raced in on a shorthanded breakaway late in the final frame, but was hauled down just as her shot was saved. With Rousseau-Sirois on the bench, the Canucks skated 6-on-4 against Russia, but despite increased pressure, they could not solve Leskina.
“The bounces were going over our sticks - it happens, every league we play in it happens, but this time it got the better of us,” said Brooker. “I'm proud of the team and proud of what we did in the last two weeks.”
“The girls worked hard - there's no issue with the effort, they worked hard the whole tournament, and I’m proud of them,” echoed Rempel. “We had a lot of challenges here, we faced them as they came our way, and we faced them as we could. It's not the colour we came here to get, but you still want to show well. It's important for the girls to go home with something and show something for their hard work, and this group came together quickly and I give them full marks for not quitting.”
Earlier on Thursday, Japan beat China 31 to claim the bronze medal.
NOTES: Canada is now 23-2 overall since women’s hockey made its Universiade debut in 2009, with both losses coming this year against Russia... Four members of the 2015 team were returning from the 2013 championship squad, including goaltender Élodie Rousseau-Sirois from the University of Montreal, defenceman Brittney Fouracres from McGill, as well as forwards Laura Brooker from Wilfrid Laurier and Alex Normore from StFX.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)
Tuesday, Feb. 4 (20:30): Canada 7 Kazakhstan 1
Sunday, Feb. 8 (20:30): Russia 3, Canada 1
Wednesday, Feb. 11 (13:30): Canada 5, Japan 2 (semi-final)
Thursday, Feb. 12 (20:30): Russia 3, Canada 0 (final)
Official boxscore: http://wuni15.sportresult.com/HIDE/en/-60/Root/ViewPdf/IHW400101_C74_3.0.pdf
Russia 3, Canada 0
Mariia Batalova (RUS) slashing, 8:06;
Breanna Lanceleve (CAN) illegal hit, 10:05;
Jessica Kampjes (CAN) interference, 12:44.
1. RUS Anna Shokhina (6) (Elena Dergacheva, Mariia Batalova), 2:16
Angelina Goncharenko (RUS) slashing, 0:22;
Morgan McHaffie (CAN) high sticking, 1:12;
Angelina Goncharenko (RUS) illegal hit, 2:37;
Mariia Batalova (RUS) holding, 3:57;
Bree Polci (CAN) hooking, 9:35;
Iya Gavrilova (RUS) illegal hit, 9:35;
Katelyn Gosling (CAN) roughing, 11:38;
Ann Schukina (RUS) roughing, 13:57.
2. RUS Anna Shokhina (7) (Olga Sosina, Mariia Batalova), 3:49
3. RUS Valeriia Pavlova (1) (Alexandra Vafina), 12:06
Maggie Medd-Litchfield (CAN) interference, 3:05;
Iya Gavrilova (RUS) slashing, 4:11;
Olga Sosnia (RUS) slashing, 4:50;
Daley Oddy (CAN) slashing, 6:07;
Ekaterina Lebedeva (RUS) cross-checking, 6:07;
Mariia Batalova (RUS) cross-checking, 8:55;
Ariane Barker (CAN) slashing, 15:17;
Jenny MacKnight (CAN) holding, 17:02:
Diana Bulatova (RUS) tripping, 18:50.
GOALS (by period)
CAN: 0-0-0: 0
RUS: 0-1-2: 3
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
CAN: 12-13-15: 40
RUS: 13-11-10: 34
CAN – Élodie Rousseau-Sirois (L, 0-2, 34 shots, 31 saves, 3 GA, 58:50)
CAN – Empty net (1:10)
RUS – Yulia Leskina (W, 4-0, 40 shots, 40 saves, 0 GA, 60:00)
REFEREE: Kaisa Ketonen (FIN)
LINESMEN: Bettina Angerer (AUT), Natasa Pagon (SLO)
FINAL POOL STANDINGS
GP W OTW OTL L GF GA PTS
1. JPN 3 3 0 0 0 16 1 9
2. CHN 3 2 0 0 1 14 2 6
3. USA 3 1 0 0 2 11 7 3
4. ESP 3 0 0 0 3 1 32 0
1. RUS 2 2 0 0 0 15 2 6
2. CAN 2 1 0 0 1 8 4 3
3. KAZ 2 0 2 0 0 2 19 0
3 points for a win in regulation
2 points for a win in overtime or shootout
1 point for a loss in overtime or shootout
Legend: W (win), OTW (OT win), OTL (OT loss), L (loss)
About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, Nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: