Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Quick start leads Canada to 4-1 victory vs. Finland

Quick start leads Canada to 4-1 victory vs. Finland

Fans or no fans Canada got their bid for a third consecutive gold off to an inspired start with Rene Bourque redirecting Chris Lee's shot from the blueline past Leonardo Genoni to open the scoring and Maxim Noreau adding a powerplay tally for a 2-0 first period lead. "It's an incredible ...when the two teams play well you can't not help but love watching it".

Canada would usually be the main attraction packing the largest venue but on Thursday the gold medalists were relegated to the smaller arena used primarily for women's hockey while the host South Koreans took on the Czech Republic across town at the main arena.

Just 35 seconds into the first period, Canada's first line set the tone.

With both North American teams having booked their ticket to the semifinals - the Americans' 5-0 win over the Russian entry in the late Pool A game ensured that - the final preliminary-round game between the two women's hockey heavyweights Thursday will be an interesting appetizer before their expected Olympic final showdown.

"You didn't really know what to expect it's been a long process we knew the Swiss would have a good and that they would play hard", Canada coach Willie Desjardins told reporters. Teammates Agosta and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL) led the way for Canada with a goal and an assist each. Canada outshot Finland 32-23 for the game.

The Canadians also had two goals disallowed, the second midway through the third for Haley Irwin kicking the puck in off her left skate. The Finns, who lost 3-1 to the its opener, are two-time bronze medallists.

Daoust finally gave Canada a 3-0 advantage in the second period, beating Raty with a wrister from the top of the right circle at 8:19. The official immediately signaled no goal.

Eight teams are divided into two groups for competition in Pyeongchang. The fourth goal may have been the most eye-catching of the night a breakaway effort from Jill Saulnier as she became the first Nova Scotian woman to score in the Olympics.

"I think it let everybody see on our team where we are at and what we can do".

Agosta put Canada up 1-0 at 7:18 of the second on the power play.

The Canadian players have been so schooled to say next to nothing bolder than the one-game-at-a-time drivel that it's tough to get a read on how confident they are.

"That's the game we want to win", Mustonen said.

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