Canada shuts out Switzerland in first game at world hockey championship in Brampton

Published April 6, 2023 at 9:26 am

Marie-Philip Poulin (29) of Canada celebrates with teammate Brianne Jenner (19) after scoring against the USA during second period Rivalry Series hockey action in Laval, Que., Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Canada opens defence of its women's world hockey championship against Switzerland on Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

It was career goal No. 67 for Natalie Spooner in Canadian colours but her first as a mom as Canada shut out Switzerland in the team’s opening game of the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship.

More than 3,500 hockey fans came out to Brampton’s CAA Centre on Wednesday (April 5) to see Canada’s 4-0 win over Switzerland.

Spooner, who gave birth to son Rory on Dec. 6 and is competing in her ninth world championship, wasted little time getting back on track. She gave Canada a 1-0 lead at 11:42 of the first period, beating goalie Andrea Braendli with a wrist shot after the Swiss defence failed to clear a puck.

“It was awesome,” said Spooner. “Just to get back out there even with my teammates, I was having a blast.”

Spooner said her team teammates and Hockey Canada have been very supportive.

“They hold him at meals and make sure he’s happy so I can eat. My mum is also here helping … He’s been pretty happy around the girls, which is great. He loves them.”

And four-month-old Rory has become a favourite with the entire Canadian contingent, according to Canada coach Troy Ryan.

“It’s actually been a lot of fun for our team, the athletes and our staff, just having little Rory around with us everywhere we go,” he said.

“My hat is off to her,” added Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin. “It’s amazing. You could see the reaction on the bench, how happy we were for her.”

The City of Brampton is getting in the tournament spirit with viewing parties, broadcasting some of the big ticket game on the big screen in Garden Square.

Guests are invited to come out and cheer on Canada in Garden Square from the comfort of Muskoka chairs and picnic tables. There will also be popcorn and food available and attendees will have the chance to win prizes, including a pair of tickets to the gold medal game on April 16.

After being outshot 9-8 in the first period, Canada had a 16-2 advantage in the second and fired 11 shots in the third before the Swiss managed their first of the period. Canadian goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens got the shutout.

Earlier in the day, Canadian rivals the U.S. defeated Japan 7-1. That meant listening to the team’s goal celebration song – Smash Mouth’s cover of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” – seven times.

Canada had previously defeated Switzerland 12-1 in group play and 10-3 in the semifinals at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The Canadian women went on to beat the U.S. 3-2 to claim gold while the Swiss lost 4-0 to Finland in the bronze-medal game.

Canada also beat Switzerland 8-1 in the semifinals of the 2022 world championship. The Canadians face 2022 worlds bronze medallist Czechia on Friday.

Limited tickets are available now for the tournament games with all games being played at Brampton’s CAA Centre.

Here’s the schedule for the 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Brampton:

Wednesday, April 5

France vs. Finland, 11 a.m.
United States vs. Japan, 3 p.m.
Canada vs. Switzerland, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 6

Germany vs. Sweden, 11 a.m.
Japan vs. Czechia, 3 p.m.
France vs. Hungary, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 7

Switzerland vs. United States, 11 a.m.
Finland vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Czechia vs. Canada, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 8

Sweden vs. Hungary, 11 a.m.
Japan vs. Canada, 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 9

Finland vs. Sweden, 11 a.m.
United States vs. Czechia, 3 p.m.
Germany vs. France, 7 p.m.

Monday, April 10

Hungary vs. Finland, 11 a.m.
Switzerland vs. Japan, 3:00 p.m.
Canada vs. United States, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 11

Hungary vs. Germany, 11:00 a.m.
Sweden vs. France, 3:00 p.m.
Czechia vs. Switzerland, 7:00 p.m.
Conclusion of Preliminary Round

Playoffs

Thursday, April 13

Quarterfinals
10 a.m., 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m.
(if qualified first or second, the United States plays at 1:30 and Canada at 5:00 p.m.)

Friday, April 14

Placements
Quarterfinal Losers, 3 and 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 15

Semifinals
Quarterfinal Winners, 12 and 4 p.m.

Sunday, April 16

Fifth Place
Placement Winners, 9 a.m.
Third Place
Semifinal Losers, 3 p.m.
Championship
Semifinal Winners, 7 p.m.

For more information on the tournament games or to buy tickets visit www.hockeycanada.ca.

With files from The Canadian Press

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