X-Women hockey athletes Sarah Bujold and Lindsey Donovan are in Calgary this week for a unique hockey experience as members of the U SPORTS all-star team at the 2018 Hockey Canada Summer Showcase. The showcase features the all-stars competing against the Canadian National Women's Development Team along with international opponents.
Both Bujold and Donovan return to the all-star squad after competing in the same event last summer. This year features the U SPORTS all-stars taking on Japan in a pair of games, and the Canadian national development team in two games.
Bujold, a fifth year veteran forward with the X-Women, scored for the U SPORTS all-stars in their first game of the week Monday night against Japan but the team fell short, losing 3-2. On Tuesday night Bujold again contributed to the U SPORTS offense scoring one goal in a 3-1 victory over the Canadian development squad.
The all-stars will again face-off against the development squad on Thursday evening, followed by their second game against Japan on Saturday.
Game recaps and box scores for the two opening games follow below.
2018 Hockey Canada Summer Showcase: U SPORTS All-Stars fall 3-2 to Japan in debut
CALGARY (U SPORTS) – 2017 U SPORTS Player of the Year Sarah Bujold of the StFX X-Women scored with 42.4 seconds remaining, but the U SPORTS All-Stars fell to Team Japan 3-2 Monday night in the opening game of the 2018 Hockey Canada Summer Showcase at WinSport Arena.
Ottawa Gee-Gees defender Cassidy Herman also scored in the loss for Team U SPORTS. Concordia goaltender Katherine Purchase – one of four Stingers on the squad to lead all U SPORTS programs – made 41 saves in the loss, while Akane Konishi and Sayaka Narumi combined for the 28-save victory. Yoshino Enomoto with a pair and Ayaka Toko scored for Japan.
"We played a strong game front to back for our first game together as a group," said U SPORTS head coach Stacey Colarossi of the Laurentian Voyageurs, who is serving as bench boss for the second consecutive year at the Summer Showcase. "Moving forward, we're certainly going to have to capitalize on our offensive chances. We'd like to continue gaining some speed crossing that offensive blue line."
Just under five and a half minutes in, McGill Martlets forward Jade Downie-Landry – a silver medalist with Hockey Canada at the 2017 Nations Cup – fed Herman for a low point shot that found the back of the net, giving U SPORTS the early lead. Enomoto tied the game at one with her first of the night with 1:13 remaining, then scored the go-ahead marker 12 minutes into the middle frame before Toko added to the lead with just under a minute left. Bujold, one of seven returning players on the U SPORTS roster, cut the deficit to one late, tapping a home a rebound to pull within one to round out the scoring.
Team U SPORTS' all-time record against Japan falls to 1-2 at the event, after splitting a pair of contests last year, which was highlighted by a 2-1 victory. Since 2016, the U SPORTS All-Stars have been invited to take part in Hockey Canada's Summer Showcase with the Canadian National Women's Development Team along with international opponents. Each year, the U SPORTS All-Stars feature former major award winners and All-Canadians, as well as future CWHL draftees.
The U SPORTS All-Stars will now turn their attention to Hockey Canada's Development Squad for the next two games, playing Team Heany on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT. You can livestream the game here.
Three-goal first period the difference in U SPORTS victory over Canada
CALGARY (U SPORTS) – Alanna Sharman, Audrey Belzile and Sarah Bujold scored in a 4:34 span in the first period to lift the U SPORTS All-Stars to a 3-1 win over Hockey Canada's Team James – one of two split squads making up the National Women's Development Program – on Tuesday night at WinSport Arena.
It was the second consecutive victory for U SPORTS over Team Canada in three years participating at the Summer Showcase, following last year's inaugural 2-1 win.
"The biggest difference today was just (our) focus," said U SPORTS assistant coach Greg Bowles of the Ottawa Gee-Gees. "With the team that's across the ice from us, you don't need to look very far to find your motivation. So I think the team was all really on one single purpose today and the results speak for themselves – (there was) a lot of hard work, taking away space and just giving up whatever they could for the teammate they were sitting beside."
A day after struggling to find the back of the net despite nearly doubling Japan's shot total on Monday, Team U SPORTS broke the game open early and often on Tuesday night. Under six minutes into the game, Montreal's Catherine Dubois dug the puck out of the corner, slipping a backhand feed right in the slot to Sharman – a national champion with the Manitoba Bisons last season – who snapped it low glove for a 1-0 lead.
The offence wasn't done, as just over three minutes later, Cassidy Herman (Ottawa) fed a stretch pass to Belzile (Concordia) who made no mistake, cashing in on the breakaway off the post and in. Not long after, it was U SPORTS captain Kaitlin Willoughby (Saskatchewan) finding fellow returning teammate Sarah Bujold (StFX), who finished off the two-on-one to make it 3-0. The pair of goals came just a minute and 23 seconds apart.
Jaycee Gebhard had the only goal for Team James in the contest.
"We really started shooting for a purpose," said Bujold, who ranked fifth in the nation in scoring last season. "Instead of just shooting to shoot."
Maude Trevisan of the Montreal Carabins got the start after backing up in Monday's opener, stopping 25 of 26 shots in the win. Team James tandem of Corinne Schroeder and 2017 U SPORTS Rookie of the Year Tricia Deguire of the McGill Martlets – who was facing her fellow student-athletes as part of Hockey Canada's Development Program – combined for 23 saves in the loss.
The two teams went a combined 0-for-11 on the power play.
Since 2016, the U SPORTS All-Stars have been invited to take part in Hockey Canada's Summer Showcase with the Canadian National Women's Development Team along with international opponents. Each year, the U SPORTS All-Stars feature former major award winners and All-Canadians, as well as future CWHL draftees.
The U SPORTS All-Stars will have Wednesday off before taking on Team James again in a rematch on Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT.