Photo credit Richard A. Whittaker
ROCKLAND, Ont. - The women’s hockey team took to the ice one final time this season, posting a 6-3 loss against the national team of the Czech Republic as part of the lead up to the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Outgoing captain Fannie Desforges and CIS all-rookie team member Maude Laramee led the team’s effort against an organized and solid Czech team at the CIH Arena in Rockland, Ont.
Desforges was still sporting Canada flag stickers on the heels of her skates from her recent third place finish at the Redbull Crashed Ice world championship. She used some of her high-flying moves to set up the second Gee-Gees goal and score one of her own, keeping Ottawa within reach of the Czechs until the 12:16 mark of the third period.
That’s when Klara Chmelva finished a beautifully executed passing play on a 3-on-2 rush to score the fifth Czech goal of the game. The goal was a great example of the patience and quality puck movement demonstrated by the international squad throughout the game, which helped them to consistently control the play and out-shoot the Gee-Gees 40-13.
Cassie Seguin started the game between the pipes for Ottawa and made several sparkling saves on powerful shots generated by the methodical Czech offence. In total she turned aside 23 shots including some quality chances on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period which lasted just over twenty seconds.
Caitlin Fowler played the second half of the game in net and was also impressive, dealing with much greater traffic in front of the net.
Right after killing off the successive first period penalties the Gee-Gees surged into the Czech zone, barrelling through the defence along the right wing boards. Dominique Lefevbre crossed the puck to the open side for Laramee to snap home, scoring the opening goal of the game at 13:52 in the first.
Laramee followed that up with a skilful breakaway goal, taking the pass from Desforges while skipping over the Czech player’s stick at the blueline and swooping in on net from the right wing with a strong forehand wrister.
The Czech Republic got on the board with 9.7 seconds left in the first, finally sneaking one through the pads of an off-balance Seguin. Denisa Krisova, who trained at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, New York, used her size to dance through the traffic in the crease and capitalize on the chance.
Krisova also scored the game-winning goal on an unassisted breakaway at 15:37 in the second period.
With a limited bench, including call-ups from McGill and Moncton, the Gee-Gees suffered a noticeable slow-down in the second frame but came back strong in the third, matching the Czechs’ intensity as the game became more physical.
Overall, fans at the CIH arena were treated to an entertaining game and a glimpse at the talent level of both squads. The Czech Republic opens their pool play in the IIHF World Championship on Tuesday, April 2 against Sweden at 4 p.m. at the Nepean Sportsplex.
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