Canadian National Women's Team Bested by Junior B Mustangs in Exhibition

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Canadian National Women's Team Bested by Junior B Mustangs in Exhibition
Meghan Agosta led all Team Canada skaters with two points, Photo by Rick Madonik, Toronto Star

A January 23 exhibition match set the stage for a battle of the sexes as the Canadian National Women’s Team faced off against the Gatineau Junior B Mustangs. Contested at the Centre Sportif de Buckingham, the Western Quebec arena marked the second time in as many years that Canada’s women faced off against a squad of teenaged boys.

As part of the preparation for the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championships, the Canadian squad battled two Midget AAA teams in Aylmer, Quebec. The Gatineau Mustangs compete in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League and sit in second place in the Metro Division with a won-loss mark of 24-9-1.

The match was meant as a talent evaluation for Hockey Canada. As part of the preparation for the 2013 IIHF Women’s World championships, the Canadian team held a Winter Women’s Training Camp at the Carleton Ice House in Ottawa, Canada.

In the first period, Meghan Agosta-Marciano (who is also the leading scorer in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League) opened the scoring with an unassisted tally at 9:01. It would not take long for Gatineau to reply.

A mere 62 seconds after Agosta-Marciano’s goal, Canada encountered penalty troubles. Former Wisconsin Badgers player Meaghan Mikkelson was called for kneeing. Just 28 seconds later, Courtney Birchard was called for a delay of game penalty.  

With the 5 on 3 power play advantage, Gatineau managed to tie the score. The 11:32 mark saw Guillaume Tardif-Richard score on Team Canada goaltender Genevieve Lacasse (who leads all goalies in the CWHL in wins and goals against average).

Heading into the second stanza, Gatineau grabbed the lead as Maxime Gagnon scored on Lacasse at 8:45. Toronto Furies goaltender Christina Kessler would stand between the pipes for Canada at the 11:24 mark, replacing Lacasse.

Agosta-Marciano and Caroline Ouellette would both assist on the next goal of the contest. With five minutes and 52 seconds remaining, the pair assisted on Tara Watchorn’s goal, as she snapped a wrist shot to beat the Gatineau backstop top shelf.

Despite evening the score, Gatineau would reclaim the lead before the period ended. Joey Mazerolle would score on Kessler, with assists going to Danny Boyer, and Dominik Robinson, the second leading scorer in the EOJHL.

The final frame saw Gatineau add to their lead quickly. Only seven seconds into the final frame, Robinson would beat Kessler to provide Gatineau with the 4-2 advantage. Penalty problems for Canada ensued as Tessa Bonhomme was called for tripping at 7:31.

Mazzerole would score his second of the night as Canada was unable to nullify the penalty. The final goal of the contest was logged at 12:40 as Mikael Gervais beat Kessler. The leading scorer for Canada was Agosta-Marciano with two points, while Dominik Robinson led all players with 3 points.

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