JAY PEAK, Vt. — The Canadian women’s team has been tucked up in the mountains of northern Vermont since the players were named to the world championship roster.
Their isolation is about to come to an end.
The Canadians head to Burlington after their final practice at the Jay Peak Ice Haus on Friday for the start of the world championship.
Canada opens Saturday against defending champion and host U.S. at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Field House.
Canada played their first game together since selection camp ended, beating Sweden 8-0 at the Ice Haus in a warmup game Thursday.
“This was our first game as a team so we were feeling out new lines and new combinations,” forward Gillian Apps said. “You could see thing were coming together, we were creating off the rush and we were getting a lot of shots on net and that’s what we came into this game wanting.”
Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont., scored twice and Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., had a goal and two assists to pace Canada on Thursday.
Apps, of Unionville, Ont., and Haley Irwin of Thunder Bay, Ont., each had a goal and an assist.
Vicki Bendus of Wasaga Beach, Ont., Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., and Toronto’s Natalie Spooner also scored.
Charline Labonte of Boisbriand, Que., and Edmonton’s Shannon Szabados split goaltending duties and the shutout.
Kim Martin allowed one goal and replacement Sara Grahn gave up seven in Sweden’s net.
Canada and Sweden played in front of an appreciative crowd of about 400 people Thursday.
Twenty-three players were named to the Canadian team Sunday in Ottawa. They travelled the same day to Jay Peak, a ski resort just a few kilometres south of the Canada-U.S. border.
The players worked hard, and just as important, rested hard after their gruelling selection camp, said head coach Dan Church.
“It’s good to be in a kind of a remote location because we have to do that,” Church said. “If you go to Burlington too early, then it gets a bit stale and monotonous. This keeps it interesting.”
Apps says the team’s stint in Jay Peak has the players anticipating their arrival in Burlington.
“We open with a huge game against the U.S.,” she said. “We’ve been here knowing we would get through a week of hard work and rest and then we knew on Friday that we’d head to Burlington and the tournament starts Saturday.”