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OTTAWA, Ont. – Team Canada White and Team Canada Black kicked off the 2021 Capital City Challenge with opening-day wins, while the National Women’s Team and Team Canada Red will look to rebound tomorrow night at TD Place.

Seven different skaters scored for Team Canada White, and Ethan Gauthier (Drummondville, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) added a trio of assists to help lead White to an opening-game win over Canada’s National Women’s Team. Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont.) opened the scoring for the National Women’s Team, and captain Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) added a pair of third period goals to round out the scoring.

“When you’re putting on the Maple Leaf for the first time, it is a really special moment. I thought both teams competed hard, but we got out-worked badly in the third period. We did not play with the same work ethic that [the National Women’s Team] did, and I tip my hat off to them. Overall, both teams played well and it was important for us to get a win and start the tournament off the right way.”

  • Canada White head coach Rob Wilson (Toronto/Peterborough, OHL) on playing Canada’s National Women’s Team

“It has been a while since we have played against boys coming off the series against Finland and the U.S., but anytime we play the boys teams at this age group, they are fast, physical and maybe a little bit bigger than us. The individual skill is very apparent in this group and there’s a lot of great hockey players out there. We are lucky we get to be part of their process. They are a part of our [preparations for Beijing] and I think we will push each other a lot this week.”

  • National Women’s Team forward Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.) on the level of competition playing against the under-17 teams

Team Canada Black’s first-minute goal from Vincent Collard (Chicoutimi, Que./Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) led to an offensive explosion, with seven different players finding the back of the net and Calum Ritchie (Oakville, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) chipping in with one goal and an assist. Team Canada Red would get on the board in the third period with goals from Brayden Yager (Saskatoon, Sask./Moose Jaw, WHL) and Luca Pinelli (Stoney Creek, Ont./Ottawa, OHL).

“We have been able to build a lot of chemistry already, and that was probably a reason for tonight’s result. We have done a lot of team bonding over the past few days and our team has really come together. Our line had a strong game tonight, and Ty [Halaburda] and [Zach] Benson are really great players, which makes my job easy.”

  • Canada Black forward Ritchie on playing with Halaburda and Benson

“Towards the end of the game, we were getting a lot of chances. That pass [from Nadeau] was pretty crazy, and to be honest I did not even see it coming. It was a nice through-the-legs and behind-the-back play, which was a really great play. Our chemistry is starting to build, and by the end of the tournament I know we are going to be a really good team.”

  • Canada Red forward Yager on building chemistry with his teammates

National Women’s Team vs. Team Canada Red (7 p.m. ET) – STATISTICS | LIVESTREAM


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