Canada takes it to Japan
by Andrew Podnieks|28 AUG 2022
Canada's Ella Shelton #17 celebrates with Micah Zandee-Hart #28, Victoria Bach #51, Jessie Eldridge #9 and Kristin O'Neill #43 after scoring a goal against Japan.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Japan knew life in Group A of the Women’s Worlds would be radically different from Group B, and today they got a reminder of just how different. Canada stormed their goal for 60 minutes and skated to a 9-0 win this afternoon to re-join the United States at the top of the Group A standings.

Shots favoured Canada, 69-5. Emerance Machmeyer, making her first appearance here, got credit for what will surely be the easiest shutout of her career.

Canada played a penalty-free game and won 81 per cent of the faceoffs. Japan, meanwhile, incurred eight minors and surrendered three power-play goals. Most impressive for Japan was defender Kanami Seki, who played a game high 28:25 and was only a -1 on the afternoon.

Coach Yuji Iizuka was forced to go with a reduced lineup of just 17 skaters. Shiori Koike, Ayaka Hitosato, and Hikaru Yamashita, all members of the team's Olympic roster this past February and expected to be leadersin Herning, were all injured and unable to play.

"It's a great opportunity for our development every time we play Canada," Iizaka said. "We learn every time we play them. All the players were very excited to play Canada; it has a lot of meaning and is special. We understand it will be a tough game, but it's a chance to play the world champions."

These teams had faced each other only twice previously at the WW, most recently in 2000 when Canada also won 9-0. In 1990, their first and only other meeting, it was 18-0.

It was Canada's 17th straight win going back to a perfect 2021 Women's Worlds (seven games), a perfect Olympics (seven more), and a third straight win here in Herning.

"I think there are some similarities to our last game, but I liked our habits a little better tonight," offered Canada's coach Troy Ryan, who spread the ice time almost evenly over all four lines. "I didn't think we swayed too far from the little things that we're going to have to do in other games. I liked our puck movement on the power play, just a little crisper."

Canada was led by captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who had two goals and an assist. In all, 16 of 20 skaters recorded at least one point.
Japan vs Canada - 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship
JPN CAN 28 AUG 2022
Canada opened the scoring early on a power play, Victoria Bach connecting with a high wrister. It was one of five penalties to the Japanese in the opening 20 minutes, and all things considered the underdogs performed valiantly when short-handed.

That being said, Canada made it 2-0 five minutes later on another PP. This time captain Poulin finished a passing play with a high shot. Canada made it 3-0 at 15:05 when Meaghan Mikkelson popped in a loose puck in a scramble in front of Konishi.

Japan failed to get a shot in the first period and didn’t test Maschmeyer until the second period had only 19 seconds left in it. She made a nice save in front on Akane Shiga, but by this time it was a 7-0 game. Canada made it 4-0 at 2:26 when Blayre Turnbull scored.

Iizuka changed goalies at the 7:47 mark to give Riko Kawaguchi some playing time against the vaunted Canadians, and she surrendered her first goal six minutes later when Poulin converted a breakaway with a shot through the goalie’s pads.

Canada then got two late scores to add to the tally. Ella Shelton finished a lovely three-way passing play to wire a shot bar down and in at 17:19, and 43 seconds later Jamie Lee Rattray converted a Turnbull pass from in close.

Sarah Potomak got her first early in the third to make it 8-0, and then Sarah Fillier finally connected with a hard snap shot on the power play. She had hit iron three times earlier in the game.

Canada now has a day off before facing the United States in a battle to decide first place. Japancloses out its preliminary round tomorrow afternoon against Finland, another major challenge for Iizuka's troops.
Japan vs Canada - 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship