Jayna Hefford’s shootout goal gives Canada 3-2 shootout win over US

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hefford’s shootout goal lifts Canadian women

OTTAWA — Jayna Hefford scored the lone shootout goal to give Canada a 3-2 victory over the United States on Friday night in the teams’ final exhibition meeting before the Vancouver Olympics.

Charline Labonte, who took over for starter Kim St. Pierre midway through the game, stopped all three American shootout attempts in front of 16,347 fans at Scotiabank Place. It was the largest Canadian crowd to watch a women’s hockey game, surpassing the mark of 15,163 set Jan. 26, 1998, at the Calgary Saddledome.

“We would have liked to win the hockey game, but more importantly women’s hockey was the winner,” U.S. coach Mark Johnson said. “They’re going to be walking out of the building obviously impressed with what they saw on the ice. I’m very impressed with this crowd and certainly think the players fulfilled their task of entertaining them.”

The Americans tied it with 16 seconds left in regulation when Julie Chu’s point shot found its way through traffic and past Labonte. Jenny Potter also scored and Jesse Vetter allowed two goals on 26 shots in regulation and overtime.

Meghan Agosta and Sarah Vaillancourt scored for Canada.

“You never really want to go to a shootout, but I think we battled pretty hard,” Hefford said. “Coming off Christmas break it was a little more difficult than we’d like to see, but winning a game is winning a game.”

Canada swept the six-game exhibition series with the United States and also beat the Americans in the Four Nations Cup title game in early November. Canada is 55-35-1 overall against the United States and 7-3 this season.

“We can’t think about the past and what has happened, and we also can’t think too far ahead. We’ve just got keep going,” said Agosta, who has eight goals and 13 points in 10 games against the Americans this season.

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