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Canada Rebounds With Key Win over Russia

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It was an emotional and disappointing opening game for Canada at t the Women’s U18 World Championship.

But they came back determined on Tuesday.

After getting one point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the United States on Monday, the Canadians scored early and hung on for a 3-2 win over Russia at HarborCenter in Buffalo on Tuesday.

“I think it was a good game for us to get our energy back,” said alternate captain Sarah Potomak who had a goal and an assist. “Obviously it wasn’t fun losing but I think this game was a good bounce-back game and we’re right back in it.”

Elizabeth Giguere open the scoring just 1:42 into the game and Potomak, who will play at Minnesota next year, made it 2-0 at 10:06.

The Russians closed the gap in the second, getting on the board from Fanuza Kadirova with 1:35 left in the period but Canada regained its two-goal lead when Giguere scored her second of the game with 42.3 seconds left.

Russia wasn’t done, making it 3-2 with 2:04 left in regulation on a goal from Nina Pirogova, but Canada held on after dominating the shots on goal, 39-13, and the pace of play.

“It was frustrating,” Potomak said. “Russia is unbelievable defensively. Their goaltending is great. They blocked so many shots. That’s why I think the score is the way it was.”

“When we needed to play with some grit and when we needed to play with some speed I think we had those moments and just enough enough moments to be able to win,” Canada head coach Cassie Turner said.

The teams are off on Wednesday. Canada will practice in the morning, regroup and mentally hit the reset button by spending a few hours with family.

Sweden 4, Switzerland 0

After squeaking by Japan in the opening game, Sweden jumped all over Switzerland early en route to its second straight win. Kajsa Armborg scored two early goals for Sweden while Jessica Adolfsson also netted two, brining her tournament total to three. Emma Soderberg made 22 saves for the shutout.

With six points, Sweden now has command of Group B while the Swiss face a critical game with Japan on Thursday. The bottom two teams in Group B play a best-of-three relegation round to see who gets to stay next year and who is demoted to Division I.

Finland 4, Japan 2

Finland came back from a two-goal deficit to win its first game of the tournament and move closer to a quarterfinal spot.

Aoi Shiga and Moe Tsukimoto gave Japan a 2-0 first-period lead.

Finland tied the game in the second on goals from Ronja Savolainen and Sanni Hakala.

The Fins put on the pressure in the third period, holding a 13-4 advantage in shots. Nelli Salomaki got the game-winning goal while Hakula added her second to secure the win.

Sweden leads Group B with six points followed by Finland and Switzerland both with three points while Japan is still pointless. The top two teams advance into the quarterfinal while the bottom two play each other in a best-of-three relegation series.

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