Canada beats Finland 5-3 in women’s world hockey opener

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sarah Fillier broke a tie midway through the third period and Canada rallied to beat Finland 5-3 on Friday to open the women’s world hockey championship.

The tournament began with the Beijing Olympics less than six months away. The world championship was last played in 2019 in Finland, with the United States winning its fifth straight title. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the event scheduled for Nova Scotia in 2020 and then earlier this year after a postponement.

Fillier scored 25 seconds after Elisa Holopainen tied it for Finland. Fillier scored on a rebound after goalie Anni Keisala stopped Natalie Spooner’s wraparound attempt.

In the other Group A game, the nine-time champion United States faced Switzerland at night.

Ten-time champion Canada overcame a two-goal deficit when Jamie Rattray and Marie-Philip Poulin scored in a 20-second span in the second period. Nelli Laitinen and Minnamari Tuominen scored for Finland in a 3:40 span early in the first, with Tuominen connecting with two Canadians in the penalty box.

Erin Ambrose gave Canada a 3-2 lead early in the third, and Brianne Jenner had an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Ann-Renee Desbiens made eight saves for Canada. Keisala stopped 39 shots.

Earlier, captain Alena Mills had three goals and an assist in the Czech Republic’s 6-1 victory over Denmark in Group B.

Vendula Pribylova, Dominika Laskova and Kristyna Patkova also scored for the Czech Republic, and Klara Peslarova made eight saves.

Josefine Persson scored for Denmark. The Danes are competing in the top division for the first time since 1992.

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