Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta./Calgary, CWHL) and Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./University of North Dakota, WCHA) finished with two goals apiece, all in a six-goal second period, sparking Canada’s National Women’s Team to an 8-1 win over Russia on Tuesday night at the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
The Canadians evened their record at 1-1, while the Russians dropped to the bottom of Group A at 0-2.
Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE), Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL), and Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) supplied the rest of the offence for the Canadians, who got three assists from Johnston, and four helpers from Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL).
Canada came out with jump, holding a 13-7 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, but it was the Russians who struck first against the flow of play; Iya Gavrilova snuck a shot inside the post behind Canadian netminder Charline Labonté (Boisbriand, Que./Montreal, CWHL) for the lone goal of the opening frame.
But the hosts gave their fans something to cheer about early and often in the second period.
Johnston needed just 40 seconds of the middle stanza to tie the game, beating Russian goaltender Anna Prugova through the five-hole for a shorthanded goal that opened the floodgates.
Krzyzaniak beat a screened Prugova with a shot from the point at 3:07, and Wakefield drove hard to the Russian net just 35 seconds later, knocking the puck past Prugova while falling, for a 3-1 advantage.
That would be it for Prugova, but Maria Sorokina didn’t fare much better; Mikkelson cleaned up a rebound after a wild scramble in front for the Canadians’ third goal in 1:35, and added her second just 38 seconds later on the power play to make it 5-1.
The blue-liner had a hat trick on her stick after the Canadians were awarded a penalty shot, put Sorokina made a terrific pad save to keep it a four-goal game and deny Mikkelson what would have been three goals in two minutes and 21 seconds.
Krzyzaniak capped the high-scoring period at 17:05, pinching in for another man-advantage marker, Poulin added a second shorthanded goal at 13:19 of the third, and Clark finished the scoring with 2:08 left.
The Canadians are off today – as are the other seven teams – before closing out the preliminary round against Finland on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT), with a semifinal spot on the line.
— JASON LA ROSE, for Hockey Canada.