(Calgary) Sarah Fillier scored the winning goal as Canada beat Finland 5-3 in their opening game of the Women’s World Hockey Championship on Friday night.
The 21-year-old Ontarian hit the target in the third period at 7:38. Brian Jenner completed the score in an empty net.
Erin Ambrose, Jamie Lee Rattray and Mary-Philip Paulin also carried the strings for Canada. Ann-Renée Desbiennes blocked eight shots in the win.
Minnamari Tuominen, Nellie Latinen and Alyssa Holopainen responded for Finland, with Ani Keisala defending 39 runs.
In 2019, Canada did not make the final for the first time in the tournament’s history, after losing 4–2 to the Finns in the semi-finals.
Maple Leaf representatives won the bronze medal, while Finland lost to the United States 2–1 in the shootout final.
The Canadians beat the Finns 4-1 in a pre-season game in Calgary on Wednesday.
After trailing 2–0 after a period, Canada stormed into enemy territory in the second round to lead 25–2 in shots. Maple Leaf equalized the match by scoring two goals in 20 seconds.
The host nation took the lead in the conflict for the first time when Jenner’s deflection after a Claire Thompson shot hit Ambrose before overtaking Kesala.
Holopainen tied Finland with a backhand deflection, but Filire responded only 35 seconds later.
The Finns did not find the back of the net in 11 power plays in their preseason game on Wednesday, but they managed to score points on their first chance on Friday.
Earlier today, the Czech Republic beat Denmark 6-1 in a Group B clash. The 10-team tournament began in Espoo, Finland, more than two years after the previous one.
The 2020 and 2021 tournaments, scheduled for Halifax and True, Nova Scotia, have both been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19.
When Nova Scotia withdrew from the tournament in May, Hockey Canada moved it and moved it to Calgary, less than six months before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
Canada will take on Russia on Sunday, then Switzerland on Tuesday and the US on Thursday.
The quarter-finals are to be held on August 28. This will be followed by the semi-finals on August 30 and the medal matches on August 31.
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