Canada faces the United States without Captain Poulin – .

Canada faces the United States without Captain Poulin – .

In the first World Championship game against its biggest rival in more than two years, Canada’s women’s hockey team will have to make do without its best player and captain.

Marie-Philip Poulin started in the third period of Tuesday’s 5-0 IIHF World Women’s Championship win over Switzerland after taking a puck in the throat and not coming back.

Hockey Canada’s director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury said on Wednesday that Poulin was fine, but would be given a few days off as a precaution.

“She’s in a good mood, but as a program, as a team, we think there’s a need to give her a few days off here, reassess her and make sure she’s ready to go. ahead, ”Kingsbury said.

Poulin’s absence adds another layer to the renewed rivalry. The last time Canada and the United States met in women’s hockey was on April 6, 2019, at the world championship, with the Americans claiming a 3-2 victory. Both teams are unbeaten so far in the 2021 tournament.

Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan isn’t about to change the team’s approach without Poulin in the lineup.

“We wouldn’t change the game plan because a player is not on the roster,” he said on Wednesday. “Obviously it’s devastating for our program to move forward to the next step without Poulin, but as usual for us. “

The Americans have so far won three wins, beating their opponents 12-0.

“Both teams are in similar situations where the games we’ve played so far have been mostly offensive zone possession, puck possession, so really the best defending team will be the most successful.” Ryan said Tuesday after Canada’s victory. on Switzerland.

“We saw them play three games. We have observed their practices. There aren’t a lot of secrets between the two programs, so now it’s just an opportunity to get out and run.

Goalkeeper anomaly

While the United States has the best team save percentage so far, Canada finds itself in uncharted territory with the lowest save percentage (0.867) – despite allowing only four goals in three games. Of course, that’s because the hosts have limited their opponents to an average of 10 shots per game.

“Although the number of shots against was quite low, the shots we gave up were of fairly good quality and Emerance [Maschmeyer] did a great job keeping us in these situations, ”Ryan said Tuesday.

Ann-Renée Desbiens started the first two games for Canada, stopping 14 of 18 shots. Asked Wednesday, Ryan did not say who would be his starter against the Americans.

Slow starts

Another trend for Canada is their early periods. In three games, the hosts have yet to score a goal in the first quarter of the game, but outscored their opponents 9-0 in the second period.

In the tournament opener against Finland, Canada allowed two goals in under seven minutes. Against Switzerland, the hosts were stuck in their own camp for much of the game’s opening 20 minutes.

“I don’t think there is anything to worry about right now,” Ryan said. “Obviously we would like to have a better start and be able to contribute a little more offensively, but I often think that the first half and the energy you bring in sets you up for success in the second half. So far in this event… he’s trying to exhaust the opponent in the first half and reap some of the advantages in the second.

Catch the last one editing of the Canada-U.S. hockey rivalry on TSN1/4/5 Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST.


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